The water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. We rely on hot water every day for showers, cooking, laundry, and to clean our homes. Learn how to extend the life of your water heater and keep your unit in top condition with these easy maintenance tips.

Regular Inspections

A good rule of thumb is to inspect your water heater every six months. Regular inspections will help ensure your unit works efficiently and can alert you of any issues before they become catastrophic.

Here are a few things to look for:

  • Do you see any signs of a leak? Look all around and underneath the unit (raised water heaters) to make sure there is no condensation or leaks. Also inspect the ground near and below the unit for signs of drips, sediment, or puddles of water.
  • Do you have a gas water heater? Take a look at the pilot light. A solid blue light indicates the heating element is working efficiently. If the flame is split, mostly yellow, or weak, this could indicate a need for repair. Also watch out for blackened areas near the burner, which could be caused by improper combustion or back drafting.
  • Place your hand on the pipes on top of your unit. The pipe on the left side, labeled “hot,” should feel warm, and the pipe on the right side, labeled “cold,” should feel cool. If the pipes are reversed, this could greatly reduce the efficiency of your unit ― which could lead to higher energy bills and a shorter life-span of your unit.
  • Inspect the unit for rust or corrosion ― this could indicate that it’s time to replace your unit.

Regular Maintenance

There are two fairly simple maintenance steps that will keep your water heating working properly for years. If you are handy, you may want to tackle these items yourself. Or our expert plumbers can perform these steps for you to ensure your water heater remains in top shape and lasts for years to come.

  • Replace the anode rod. The anode rod is one of the important parts in your water heater, and regular replacement is the best way to extend the life of your unit. The anode rod attracts all the corrosive elements that would normally cause rust and corrosion in your water tank. Over time, the anode rod will wear down, and when this happens it needs to be replaced. We recommending replacing your anode rod at least every four years. Watch this tutorial to learn how, or call a Green plumbing professional for assistance.
  • Every six months or so, you should flush out sediment from your unit. Sediment can build up within your unit and can reduce your unit’s efficiency and even harm your tank. Learn how to safely drain and flush your tank by watching this video.

With regular inspection and a few easy maintenance steps, you keep hot water flowing throughout your home without interruption. Be sure to always be safe when working on your unit, and if you need assistance contact the plumbing experts at Mr. Green Plumbing.