Here are some simple tips to keep your water heater running in tip top shape. Maintaining it will prolong its life and save you a bunch of money in the long run. We will also tell you how often to drain your water heater to keep it in good shape for years to come.
Start by turning the water heater down to 120F degrees. This will not only save you on gas or electric bills but make the heating elements last longer as they don’t have to work as long. The only appliance in your home that would maybe need water hotter that 120F would be your dishwasher that may use 140F temp. You usually do not have to worry about this as your dishwasher should have a heater in it that will heat the water to the correct temperature it needs. How to adjust your water heater temperature.
Is your water heater leaking or sweating?
If you see a visible leak coming from the bottom of your water heater, it should be replaced. However, make sure you do not mistake condensation for a leak. In cold months, the incoming cold water may cause water to condensate on the outside of the water heater. If this water drips on the floor it may appear to be a leak. Make sure you understand what is happening before even thinking about replacing it. Remember, when your water heater heats up, the condensation on the outside will evaporate. Also, if your water heater is too small for your household, condensation will be more likely to form. (Here are some different sized water heaters to choose from some are tankless) Be sure your water heater is big enough to feed your home’s shower, bathing, dishwashing, and washing machine needs.
Keep your water heater from going bad too soon!
The best way to keep your water heater in the best working order is to drain it regularly. Drain 2 to 3 gallons of water out of it through the bottom valve every 6 months. This is done to remove any heavy sediment that may have formed on the bottom of the tank. Removing the sediment will also make your water heater more efficient. If the tank drain valve is stuck or cracked, you may need a new water heater drain valve. If you purchase a new one, be sure to get the correct one for your heater.
Save energy with your water heater!
If your water heater feels warm from the outside of the tank, it is expelling warmth. This is wasting energy. The best solution for this is to use a special insulation blanket that covers the tank so it keeps the warmth inside the heater. Home improvement stores have these “water heater jackets” in 1 to 3 inch thicknesses. They are a snap to install as you simply wrap it around the heater, tape it on securely, and then trim off any excess.
Quick money saving tip: A nice relaxing bath can use 30 to 60 gallons of water versus a 5 minute shower only using 10 gallons of water. You will save on your electric bill and water bill if you take showers more frequently than a bath.
Do you have any preventive maintenance tips to make a water heater last longer? Please leave a comment below.