Keeping you water heater in good shape and well maintained is not only an investment in your house, but also a safety precaution. Water heaters can last decades if properly maintained, and a busted heater can always come at the worst time, or even flood your house. By following some simple tips, you can keep your water heater well maintained and functioning.
Your water heater continually gets filled with tap water. Sometimes that water can have little flecks of sediment. When the water enters the tank, it can fall to the bottom and accumulate over time. You want to flush this sediment out once a year to prevent a build up of minerals in your tank. Turn off the tank’s heater. Attach a hose to the outlet valve and use the pump to drain all the water. You can use a bucket if you are not near a floor drain. Refill the heater half way, and then drain again. Keep doing so until there is no more sediment. Then, turn the heater back on and fill the tank. This is also a good time to test the safety release valve.
You want your heater to be hot, but not too hot. Keep it below 120 degrees to prevent over heating, and move any flammable materials away from the heater, especially if you have a gas heater. If your heater is not already insulated, invest in a water tank blanket to hold the heat in and make it more efficient over its life.
Whenever you are working with your water heater, make sure that it is disconnected, and that you are wearing gloves and checking the temperature of pipes before you grab them. Just because you are wearing gloves doesn’t mean you can’t get burned.