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Plumbing Tips – Water Heater Maintenance

Your water heater is an important part of your plumbing system. Hot water is a must for bathing and sanitary purposes. Gone are the days of having to boil water over the stove in order to get hot water, not that anyone in this day in age ever had to get hot water that way, but just thinking about it makes you appreciate the job your water heater does for you on daily basis. Like the rest of your plumbing system, you probably don’t give to much thought to your water heater, that is until it goes out and you are left mid shampoo without any hot water. Fortunately, as with most things water heater problems can be prevented with proper water heater maintenance. Here are some plumbing tips for water heater maintenance.

#1 The step in proper water heater maintenance is to know where your water heater is located. This is important in the event there is an emergency or in case anything goes wrong with your water heater. Some common places you will find a water heater are garage, attic, or basement.

#2 Another important step in good water heater maintenance is to make sure the area around your water heater is free of clutter and debris for several reasons:

A) Many gas water heaters require enough oxygen in order to sustain an ongoing flame. Too much clutter can prevent proper oxygen and cause your water heater to work less efficiently, plus raises the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

B) A gas leak will be harder to detect if there is too much clutter around your water heater. Make sure your water heater is easy to get to in the event of an emergency.

C) Too much clutter around your water heater is a fire hazard.

#3 Its also important to know what type of water heater you have. In order to allow for proper water heater maintenance, you need to know if your water heater is gas, electric, propane, tank storage, or tankless.

#4 In the event of an emergency you should also know how to turn off your water heater. Know how to locate the water shut off valve and the gas line in the event of a water or gas leak. A quick response to a water leak or gas leak is crucial to prevent damage and protect the health and safety of you and your loved ones.

#5 As part of your routine water heater maintenance you should drain a few gallons out of your water heater at least once a year. This is to check for any sediment or debris. If the water isn’t clean then a water heater flush is recommended. Be sure to turn the temperature down in order to prevent injury. You should also inspect your water heater annually. Inspect the tank for rusk. Check for any leaks or corrosion on pipes and valves. On a gas water heater make sure the vent hood is in proper position to allow for good ventilation. Inspect the gas line and thermostat for wear and tear. If you see any signs of soot there may be a combustion issue, and you should arrange for your water heater to be serviced by a professional. And of course, if you ever smell gas contact a professional right away!

For more plumbing tips check out our other articles.

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