Three tricks maintain water heater

Here at All Year Inc., we want to help you save a few dollars on your utility bill this winter by taking care of your water heater. As a local Sacramento company specialized in heater installation, service, and repair, we know that your water heater is a serious investment and it is worth taking the extra precautions to maintain it.

These are three simple tricks that you can use to improve the longevity of your water heater.

  1. Check the Pressure Valve

Every water heater, whether it be gas or electric, has a safety valve called the temperature and pressure valve (T&P valve). It is meant to open and release pressure if the tank overpressurizes, but if it is not working right it could explode. Do yourself the favor of periodically checking it to make sure your heater is safe.

  • Turn off electricity or gas to extinguish pilot light.
  • Place a bucket under the valve to catch water. Pull up the trip lever and listen for a slight rush of air or some water exiting through the valve. If you don’t hear or see anything, it is time to drain the tank and replace the valve.
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  1. Check the Anode Rod
  • Locate the anode rod, usually located at the top of the heater and looks like a hexagonal plug screwed into the heater.
  • Turn off power supply whether it be gas or electricity.
  • Turn off COLD water supply.
  • Connect a hose to the valve and drain about a ½ gallon of water to alleviate pressure.
  • Use a closed end wrench to remove the anode rod and check for corrosion. If the rod is less than ½ an inch thick, it’s time to buy a new one.
  1. Insulate your water heater

First, find the temperature dial on the side of the tank and set it to 120 degrees using a flathead screwdriver. Every 10 degrees of lowered temperature will save you about 5 percent in energy costs.

  • Buy some self-sticking 3/8-inch-thick foam pipe insulation that matches the pipes’ diameter.
  • Starting at the water heater, measure lengths of insulation needed to cover all the hot water pipes.
  • Cut foam and secure around the pipes.
  • For gas water heaters: Use an insulation blanket to wrap around the body of your water heater from the top to just below the controller.
  • For electric water heaters: Use an insulation blanket to wrap around the sides and top of your water heater because they have no exhaust. But be careful not to cover heating element access panels. 

These tips will help you self-maintain your water heater and make it last longer. When you do have questions or concerns, be sure to contact your trusted Sacramento heater repair company, All Year Inc.