Many people don’t give much consideration to their water heater until something goes wrong with it. This is because a well-functioning water heater should be something you don’t notice—it should just work.
The best way to keep your water heater functioning properly, though, is to stay on top of preventative water heater maintenance in Las Vegas, NV, which requires you to give at least a bit of thought to this important appliance.
A failure to regularly inspect and maintain your water heater could result in inefficient operation that consumes more energy and costs you significantly more money on your monthly utility bills. Over time, improper maintenance could make a complete failure of the tank more likely, as the bottom rusts and erodes and leaks begin to form. Sooner or later, you could have a situation in which the entire bottom falls out, and the contents of the tank flood the surrounding area, which can result in widespread water damage to your possessions.
With all this in mind, here are a few simple maintenance tasks you can perform on a regular basis to keep your water heater in good condition and maximize its useful lifespan:
- Inspect the area: Before you begin any maintenance on the actual water heater, you should check the area around the appliance for possible warning signs. Do you see standing puddles, leaks or drips? You should also check for cracks or rust on the outside of the water heater tank. If any of these signs are present, you should schedule a service appointment with a professional as soon as possible.
- Perform monthly checks: In addition to regularly checking the area around the water heater, you should perform monthly checks simply to make sure it’s running smoothly. These checks don’t have to be anything in depth—just make sure the water heater is working properly and that it isn’t making a bunch of noise. Keep an eye on your energy bills as well, and watch for any unusual spikes.
- Check the pressure relief valve: The pressure relief valve is one of the most important parts of the water heater, and you should check it occasionally to make sure it’s functioning properly. If the valve starts to stick, the pressure in the tank could build up to such a degree that you run the risk of a tank explosion. Open the valve manually to make sure it opens and closes smoothly, and check the drain outlet nearby to make sure it’s clear. If the system is operating as normal, you should see hot water come out.
- Flush: Once a year or so, you should flush the tank. Turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater and shut off the cold water inlet valve, then attach a hose to the drain outlet and run it either into a drain or outside of your house so the water flows away. Open up the pressure relief and drain valves to quickly empty the tank. The idea is that this will flush out anything that could harm your tank, including sediment buildup.
For more information about how to maintain your water heater, or if your water heating is making noise, contact the Las Vegas, NV plumbing experts at Orchard Plumbing.