Elmhurst Plumbing

Plumbing in Elmhurst Illinois

Water Heater Maintenance

The hot water heater is probably the most important piece of equipment in your home.  You are likely to think so if ever breaks down.  As homeowners you can prolong the life of this unit, and save on the cost of repairs, with some routine water heater maintenance.  You need not be a professional handyman to do the maintenance.

Over time mineral deposits can build up at the bottom of your hot water heater.  You can flush out these sediments and minerals by doing the following.  Turn off the water supply coming into the tank and drain the tank.  This drain valve is located at the bottom of the tank.  Now, with the drain valve open, turn the water back on to the unit and let it drain or cycle through until you see that the water is clear. Do this at least once a year. If left in the tank, mineral build ups can corrode the tank as well as make the unit less efficient, in other words less hot water.

All hot water heaters have something called an Anode Rod.  This rod is inside the tank and draws on the corrosive agents, normally found in water, so that it corrodes, gradually, instead of the tank itself.  When it wears out, the corrosive agents in the water will then start to work on the tank itself.  These rods should be examined manually.

If you examine the rod and notice any kind of flaking or scaling then it is time to replace it.  This is not always an easy determination for homeowners.  If it has been 5 years since a heater expert has examined your unit, we suggest you hire one in to examine this Anode Rod, and indeed, the rest of the hot water heater to check for undue signs of age or wear and tear.

If you notice your hot water heater is producing less hot water, is approaching 10 years in age, and there are no visible signs of leaks, nonetheless you should consider calling in an expert to get his opinion the state of the unit. He may do the necessary repairs or suggest a replacement.

As part of your maintenance check for any obvious leaks from the pipes, valves or the unit itself.  Call in a professional as required.