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Simple Maintenance Tips for Your Home's Water Heater

You count on your home's hot water heater every day. If you want to avoid an unexpected breakdown, learn these simple tips to extend the life of your water heater and spot the early warning signs for required maintenance and service.  

Mike Rowe: Hi, I’m Mike Rowe. And if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you might enjoy these how-to videos put together by the plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing®. I found them inspirational.

Plumber: Hey, Mike, I’ve seen your work. You should should call us.

Mike Rowe: Plumbers are funny.

Title: Simple Maintenance Tips for Your Home’s Water Heater

Chad Correll: Do you enjoy hot showers, sanitizing your laundry in your washing machine and warm, sudsy water when cleaning your dishes? It’s a creature comfort we all depend on every day. For most of us, just the thought of a cold shower leaves us shivering in our shoes.

Hi, I’m Chad Correll. I’m a plumber with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Most water heater manufacturers place the typical lifespan of a water heater at anywhere from 8 to 12 years. Sure, that doesn’t seem like a long time, but being an observant homeowner and scheduling routine maintenance can extend the life of your water heater. Today, I want to share important tips every homeowner needs to know about their water heater.

Tip #1: You need to visually check your water heater for any problems. Be thorough, and check all around the water heater. Use a flashlight for hard-to-see areas. There shouldn’t be any signs of rust, drips or leaking water. If there is, you need to call a professional.

Tip #2: Don’t store or lean items against your water heater. A good rule of thumb is to keep household items, especially combustibles, at least two feet away from your water heater.

Tip #3: Remember that the lifespan of a water heater is typically 8 to 12 years. So it’s important to make note of the age of your water heater. You can check the label on the front of your heater for a manufacturer’s date. Any water heater older than 10 years needs professional maintenance and service performed on it.

Tip #4: Check the water heater temperature gauge and adjust as needed. The location of the temperature control can vary depending on the type of water heater you have, such as gas, electric or oil. The temperature control may be concealed behind a metal plate. The recommended temperature setting is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For an electric water heater, make sure to turn off the power prior to opening the plate and adjusting the temperature. There may be exposed electrical wires causing an electrical hazard. Gas water heaters read low, hot and very hot. For a more accurate reading, take a standard thermometer and run it under the closest faucet to the water heater.

These are basic things every homeowner should know about their water heater. But the water heater is comprised of many parts. So a complete annual inspection is recommended to ensure you and your family members enjoy your hot showers and baths for years and years. To learn more, call the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

Graphic: Want to avoid cold showers? Schedule your water heater inspection today! Call the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing!

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