My husband and I wanted to add an addition to our home for years before we finally decided to act on the idea. However, we then realized that we desperately needed to update our kitchen, as well. Before we started the remodeling process, we prepared for what we expected: stress. We made sure we cleared our calendars and didn't have any other major commitments during the remodeling process. However, once we began planning the renovations, we quickly learned that we were actually having a lot of fun! The renovation process also went very smoothly and, now that the process is over, we both joke around that it feels "too quiet" in hear without the company of the contractors. I enjoyed t all so much I decided to start a blog to share my remodeling tips to help others who will soon be taking the plunge!
Your water heater works overtime to keep your family comfortable. Without it, you wouldn't enjoy warm or hot water when washing dishes and hands or showering. Many people never think twice about their water heaters, and for good reason. A good water heater should be forgotten! That means it's doing its job correctly.
However, when you want your water heater to continue to function properly, you must maintain it on a yearly basis. Preventative maintenance can help you nip small problems in the bud before they become a big problem that requires extensive repairs or replacement. While you will have to replace your water heater at some point in your lifetime, the checklist below can help you extend the life of your water heater if performed annually.
Test the Pressure Release Valve
Your water heater has a pressure release valve on the side that connects to a discharge pipe. The function of this valve is to open automatically if pressure gets too high in the tank (which can cause it to explode). You will need to replace the valve if it doesn't release water - or leaks - when you lift the lever.
Drain Built-Up Sediment
Next, check your water heater for sediment. Too much sediment build-up makes your water heater less efficient and adds to your energy bill. If left untouched, a sediment-filled water heater can age faster, causing you to buy a new one earlier than expected.
Be sure to turn off the cold water supply before you do this. Drain a couple gallons of water from the tank to flush out sediment built up at the bottom. The water will be very hot, but you should drain it until the water runs clear. Be prepared with a 10-gallon bucket filled partially with a block of ice or cold water to cool down the extremely hot water coming from the tank.
Insulate Your Older Heater
Many water heaters can last for 15 years or more if maintained properly. If your water heater is nearing the end of its life, it might not be insulated properly. Most new water heaters come with built-in insulation for better efficiency.
Luckily, you can buy a fiberglass jacket to wrap around your older heater. Just be sure to avoid contact with the flue. For even more efficiency, you can insulate the hot and cold water pipes.
Check the Thermostat
Your water heater should be working at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the thermostat yearly to make sure the valve hasn't slipped or been bumped. Any higher than 120 degrees, and you could experience scalding and unnecessarily higher energy bills.
A few minutes of maintenance a year can help you detect problems and extend the life of your water heater. You can also call a professional water heater service company to perform this maintenance for you. They will quickly be able to detect warning signs of more serious problems. And they can also estimate when you'll need to replace your water heater, giving you time to save up for a new one.