Cleaning and maintaining your water heater

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Mark Jardine
May 14, 2024
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Hot water is helpful for us in a variety of ways. When it's time to wash the dishes (often by hand or in the dishwasher), shower and freshen up, or help mop the floors and wash our clothes, we need hot water. We must ensure that we can continue to use water without any issues because we cannot survive without it.
Here are some tips on properly managing this crucial system so you won't have to worry.

Test the T&P Valve

Your water heater's temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve is a crucial safety component. It automatically opens to release pressure when it detects an unsafe pressure buildup or an abnormally high temperature inside the water heater tank. An explosion from a malfunctioning T&P valve puts a water heater at risk. Therefore, once a year T&P valve testing is advised by water heater manufacturers.

Clean the Outside

Your hot water tank needs to be dusted and cleaned on the outside like anything else you own to stay in good condition. Watch out for any leaks you may spot on the floor or in the area around the tank; these are typically the first indications that something must be fixed immediately. Use a vacuum cleaner to pick up dirt and debris from the floor and standard cleaning tools to dust the system's exterior if there are no leaks.

Reduce the Temperature

The standard installation temperature for water heaters is between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures lessen the chance of scorching and delay the buildup of mineral deposits in your water heater tank.

To Remove Sediment, Drain the Tank

You must stop the flow of cold water to drain the tank. Before draining your tank, if it has a gas feed, turn the valve off. Additionally, look for the gas pipe that goes to the thermostat and pilot light if you set the thermostat to the pilot position. Open one to two of your home's faucets. Continually leave them on while flushing. This will stop the pipes from creating a vacuum as the tank is drained.
You can empty the tank by turning on the cold water spigot connected to the hot water tank. Run it for a few minutes or until little to no sediment is left in the water coming out of your hose. You might also need to drain the tank completely to clean the bottom of the tank or if there is too much sediment. Clean the tank's bottom after it has been entirely drained to eliminate any leftover debris. Restart the water supply to clear up the tougher accumulation.

Tank Insulation

The tank's lifespan can be extended by adding insulation to its surface and surroundings. It can also avoid condensation on the cold water line in the summer.
The efficiency, longevity, and safety of your water heater are all ensured by regular maintenance and cleaning, which is more than just a job. Energy savings and the avoidance of potential risks can both be achieved by routinely draining the tank to remove silt accumulation, checking for leaks and corrosion, and modifying the temperature settings.
By giving your water heater the correct attention, you increase its lifespan and encourage a more environmentally and financially responsible home.