Just because water heaters are no longer needed as frequently as they were a few months ago, it doesn’t mean that we can ignore their upkeep. Summer is not far away in Texas; so now’s the time to invest in water heater maintenance to ensure its long-term health.
Here’s what it involves:
Flushing the tank
The point of flushing the tank is to remove any sediment buildup and corrosion. Once the rust buildup is removed, the energy efficiency of your unit will improve majorly. We recommend shutting off the water heater completely and carrying out a complete flush. On the other hand, if you can’t turn the unit off for some reason, a mini-flush can be done even when the heater is running.
Here is how you can go about it:
- Turn the valve and release all the water from the heater tank. Make sure you’ve placed a bucket underneath to collect the water. Don’t forget to take all the necessary precautions, since the water may be hot and might burn you if mishandled.
- Once the tank is empty, turn the valve clockwise to close it.
- Repeat the same step with fresh cold water several times until all the water comes out clean and clear.
Dialing down the temperature
In the US, water heaters are set at a temperature of 130 to 140 F by default. However, this is not the setting that the U.S. Department of Energy recommends. Ideally, you’re recommended to set your water heater at 120 F for housed activities. This will not only reduce energy costs, but will also reduce any risk associated with scalding. When you dial down the temperature, mineral deposits accumulate slower in the water heater tank.
To do this, you need to reach out for the temperature dial and simply set it to 120. This applies if you have a gas water heater.
On the other hand, if you’re using an electric water heater, remove the tiny metal panel that covers the thermostat. First, turn the power off and switch off the breaker. After that, remove the thermostat panel as stated above and adjust the desired setting. Once you’re done, replace the cover and turn the breaker back on.
Ideally, your water heater should stay with you for around eight to twelve years. However, this is only possible if it’s frequently cleaned and serviced. You can carry out basic servicing on your own, while you might need professional help for a thorough annual cleaning.
If you’re doing it at home, all you need is a bucket and a screwdriver. However, make sure to turn off the power off if you have an electric heater and the gas supply if you have a gas heater.