5 Easy Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Posted: 2021-11-11

Winter is only a few weeks away, which means your water heater is going to be working harder to provide you with warm water for baths, laundry, cleaning, and other household activities. Since it is a piece of equipment that allows you to live a normal life in the midst of a cold season, it’s just right to show it some love.

Four Seasons Air Specialists is your leading HVAC company in Hugo MN. We have been helping homeowners take care of their water heaters for over four decades. In this article, we will give you easy, inexpensive ways to make sure your water heater works effortlessly.

Inspect the water level.

Checking the heater’s water level regularly is essential to its performance. We’d like to offer a couple of reasons. First, if the water heater operates without water, the system is at risk of suffering permanent damage. Second, it can cause accidents and put your and your family’s life in danger.

Certain water heaters will have a safety feature that monitors the water level and automatically adds more water when needed. This feature allows the unit to automatically fill the system with the right amount of water and will instantly turn the system off if the water is at the right level. However, if your unit does not have this function, you will have to monitor the water level manually.

Drain the tank.

To remove sediment and debris, we recommend draining about a quarter of the tank a few times each year. To do this, simply turn off the cold water supply, connect a garden hose to the drain valve, then let the water run into a bucket until it is clear. In case the water remains dull, open the water supply valve to stir up the remaining sediment. Then, drain the tank again. This process will allow the water heater to operate more silently.

Check the radiator.

There are times where your radiator may be unable to work properly, especially when the heater remained idle for quite some time. If the bottom of your heater’s radiator is colder than the top, it means that air is restricted in the system. The air needs to be released by “bleeding” the radiators. If not, the system will be unable to effectively heat your water. This inefficiency will add more pressure to your water heater and increase your energy usage.

Here’s what you can do. First, switch off the unit. Then, insert the key into the bleed valve. Turn the key counterclockwise for a quarter of a rotation and you should hear a hiss as the air is released. When water starts to trickle, so lock the valve to complete the process. You might need to fill up the water heater pressure afterward.

Test the temperature-pressure-release (TPR) valve.

The TPR valve is a component that is essential to the safety and proper operation of your water heater. It releases water and pressure if it becomes dangerously high inside the tank. For example, if there is an issue with the thermostat and the temperature gets too high, the TPR valve will open to allow steam to escape safely.

Shut off the power as well as the cold water supply valve. Then, place a bucket under the pipe connected to the TPR valve on the top or side of the tank. Now, lift the valve tab to let some water out, then release. If water keeps flowing, clear out the tank partway, unscrew the old valve with a pipe wrench, and install a new one.

Insulate the pipes.

One of your water heater’s enemies is a frozen pipe. To avoid this problem (and lower your water heating costs), consider insulating the water pipes. When the pipes are bare, they are forced to work twice as hard to provide hot water consistently. Insulation makes it easier for the water heater to do its job as it eliminates the need to run the water longer, waiting for it to heat up. This simple tip will allow you to conserve both water and energy.

Ask the Water Heater Experts

To ensure your water heater is ready for winter, call Four Seasons Air Specialists. Our experts will help you perform necessary maintenance and tune-up steps, which are critical to your heater’s performance. We are your dependable Forest Lake heating and air conditioning company.