Is Routine Water Heater Maintenance Really That Important?
How important is water heater maintenance?
Well, picture this: You’re spending a relaxing evening at home or a romantic dinner with your spouse when a loud sound and water everywhere send your good time into a complete tailspin.
Now, you’re left dealing with a broken water heater, a small flood, and expensive repairs in your future.
This is an extreme (but possible) scenario that could happen if you don’t keep your water heater maintained regularly.
Reasons why you should perform routine maintenance? We’re glad you asked!
Safety is the most critical aspect of keeping your water heater regularly maintained and checked. All water heaters have safety devices, such as a temperature and pressure (T&P) valve, requiring annual testing. You should hire a professional to come out once a year to complete an evaluation and maintenance work to ensure you and your family aren’t at risk of a water heater catastrophe.
The build-up of calcium is common in water heaters, which can contribute to a less efficient system. Sediments can build up and settle on the bottom of your water heater, making it more challenging to produce hot water. This calcium build-up can be very detrimental to a gas water heater, as hot spots can develop, causing tank damage and complete system failure. In an electric water heater, the mineral build-up can result in the failure of the lower heating element. Annual maintenance and flushing of your water heater will keep it running smoothly and increase efficiency overall.
Who doesn’t want to save a little money on a utility bill? Having a professional annually (or bi-annually) flush your water heater will likely save you money on your next water bill. Flushing your water heater contributes to reducing your home’s energy use, a better functioning and cleaner water heater that uses less energy. The result? Water that heats up faster and doesn’t need to run. Thus, saving you money.
Water Heater Components to Regularly Check
There are some subtle and overt signs you may need a professional plumber’s touch. One way you can ensure your water heater is still functioning is to do a quick and regular check of your system’s components.
The anode rod has the essential job of protecting your system’s metal lining and preventing corrosion and a potential explosion of your water heater. If your anode rod is bad or completely deteriorated, it can result in discolored water, a foul odor, air in the lines, and sporadic hot water. Your water heater’s rod should be checked at least a year after it’s been installed (if it’s new) and every 3 years after that point. A professional can come out to ensure your anode rod is still in good shape. If it looks thin and corroded, it should be replaced.
Another component you should continue to monitor annually is the temperature and pressure (T&P) valve, which protects your water heater from excess pressure and temperature by discharging water.
When your T&P valve goes bad, you may notice the following:
- Flooding – Gushing water from your water heater is never a good sign, but it could indicate that your T&P valve has gone bad and needs to be replaced.
- Leaks – Water should never be leaking directly from your tank. If you notice any pooling water around your unit, it’s time to call a professional to check the T&P valve.
- Water debris – If there’s any debris in your water, this could mean there’s corrosion on the inside of your system, and your T&P valve or anode rod isn’t working.
- Loud noises – Rattling noises or any odd sounds coming from your system could be your water heater telling you there’s a build-up of a pressure pressing against the inner walls, which means the valve isn’t working correctly.
To help keep your T&P valve in working order, have a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing expert come out and take a look to ensure everything is on the up and up.
Let Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Help
Neglecting your water heater can have several damaging effects on your home (and wallet). Benjamin Franklin Plumbing professionals can perform regular maintenance to increase your system’s longevity and keep it running efficiently. We have several comprehensive services, including water heater repair and installation available to residential and commercial customers.
For more information about water heater maintenance and scheduling an appointment, call us at (612) 430-6547 or contact us online.