The water heater is an essential part of the plumbing Dallas TX homeowners use daily. Unless you are one of the rare individuals who prefer a freezing cold shower in the morning, chances are this appliance will get a workout each day. Most are very dependable and offer a decade or more of service. Following a simple annual maintenance plan can help to extend the life of the unit even longer.
Many homeowners are unaware that there are only three steps to maintain the home water heater. In addition to being very simple to perform, the steps only take about five minutes. Most would agree this is a small investment to pay to extend the lifespan of the water heating appliance.
In order to keep the unit working well, homeowners should take the following three steps:
- Check the Temperature
- Test the Pressure Relief Valve
- Flush the Tank
The thermostat on the unit should be set to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. On gas units the temperature dial is a knob located where the gas line enters the system. On electric units, the dial is behind a panel on the front of the unit. Larger electrical units may have two panels and two thermostats. Lowering this setting reduces the energy consumed, protects the system from overheating and can prevent scalds in the home.
Units are designed with a relief valve to relieve pressure that is critical to operating the device with safety. If the water is overheated and begins to build pressure, this valve releases the excess pressure through a pipe to a drain. To test, lift the lever and release. It should snap back in place rapidly. Lifting the lever will release some water causing a gurgling sound in the drain tube. If the valve does not release water or does not snap back, it is defective and should be replaced. The plumbers at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can provide this service for customers ensuring the tank continues to work safely.
As the device heats water, sediment forms and settles to the tank bottom. These sediments can cause corrosion of the tank and decrease its efficiency. A quick flush takes only a few minutes and can help to remove sediment and keep the system working well for many years. Place a three to five gallon bucket under the drain valve. It is located near the bottom of the tank and looks like a hose bib. Open the valve by turning counterclockwise and allow a few gallons to drain into the bucket. Be sure to stand to the side when opening the valve as the water will be hot. Close the valve and discard the water and sediment removed from the tank.
Proper maintenance of water heaters can ensure they provide many years of service. However, as all appliances, it will fail one day. When the system does fail, be sure to call for help from a professional plumber. Plumbers can perform the replacement quickly with little upset to the home.