Your water heater is possibly the most critical component of your houses plumbing program. A effectively maintained heater can last from ten to fifteen years or far more. But, a heater not adequately maintained can fail in 4 to six years. The situation of the drinking water in your area and the location of the heater in your residence are out of your manage, but appropriate maintenance of the heater and your plumbing technique is critical to heater longevity and safety.

This report gives you a list of things to verify for each tank type and tankless water heaters. As you go via the measures in checking your heater, if you have the slightest doubt in your capacity, get a qualified, licensed plumber involved! You are dealing with hot water, all-natural gas, and electricity!

Tank Variety Water Heater Maintenance:

Vent (Gas Water Heaters Only)

The vent ought to be the identical diameter as the draft diverter on the heater tank.
The vent must go typically “up and out” the ceiling.
Exactly where is passes via the exterior wall, the vent must be double-walled.
Vent sections must be screwed collectively with a minimum 3 screws per section.
Note: Negative vent pipe connections can fall apart and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, the silent and deadly gas!

Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve (T&P Valve)The T&P valve is made to avoid the heater from exploding if the water stress or temperature exceeds protected limits.

Pull up the manage on the valve and water should really flow out and quit when you let go of the manage.
The T&P valve has a drain line that ought to go down to about six” from the floor or be plumbed outside your house.
Note: Water leaking out of a T&P drain line can signal a bad T&P valve, high water pressure, or a malfunctioning thermal expansion device.

Water Stress (All Water Heaters)

Water stress over 80 pounds per square inch (psi) can harm heaters and your piping. It can also harm plumbing appliances, toilets, and your fixtures.
Note: One giveaway that your have higher water pressure is when the T&P Valve on the heater starts opening and closing.

Outer Water Heater Metal Shell & Plumbing Fittings

Inspect the heater outer sheet metal shell for leaks or rusting.
Inspect the plumbing fittings on the heater for corrosion, rust, or water spotting.
Note: Rusty fittings or discolored shell is a telltale sign that a leak is present!

Temperature Handle

Inspect the heater temperature handle dial to insure its set at the right water temperature.
The ideal water temperature is 120° Fahrenheit.
Note: Something above 120° Fahrenheit greatly increases scalding risk, power use, and sediment make-up in the bottom of the heater!

Combustion Chamber (Gas Water Heaters)

Turn the gas valve manage to “pilot position”.
Remove the outer access hatch or cover on the side of the heater.
Inspect the roof of the chamber for heavy rusting, water marking, or pitting.
Return the gas valve manage back to the “on position”.
Note: soot in the combustion chamber means drafting challenges, combustion difficulties, fume difficulties, and a fire hazard!

Pedestal Base (Gas Water Heaters)

Make positive the pedestal base the heater rests on is steady and supports the unit.
The standard pedestal will hold the bottom of the heater at least 18″ off the floor.
Note: A newer water heater might have a “filtered combustion chamber” that is supposed to resolve the require for a pedestal. Verify the owner’s manual for your heater.

Drain Valve

Open the drain valve to insure that mineral sediment, anode sludge, or rust has not clogged your heaters drain.
Drain Overflow Pan

If your heater is on the 2nd floor above living space it must have a drain pan.
The drain pan should be plumbed to the outdoors of your home.
Inspect the situation of the drain pan, fittings, and piping to the outdoors.
Corrosive Fumes (Gas Water Heaters & Tankless Water Heaters)

Water heaters draw air in for combustion and the high quality of the air is essential.
Corrosive liquids, ammonia, or acids stored close to a heater can lead to corrosive air.
Note: Corrosive air drawn into the burner can prematurely corrode the heater.

Internal Tank Corrosion and Rust-The internal tank of your heater is constructed of steel and glass lined to stop rust. Sacrificial anode rods are installed in the tank to shield the glass lined internal steel tank from rust. Aluminum/Zinc or magnesium anode rods corrode over time and get utilised up by means of an electrolytic method.

Note: Replacing the anode rod can extend the life of the heater but, should be performed by a trained, skilled service technician.

Sediment Develop-up-Sediment is developed when really hard water is heated. The create-up of sediment in the bottom of the tank can trigger the bottom to overheat and melt away the glass lining of the tank. It can drift into recirculating lines, jam open verify valves, and trigger the recirculating pump to stick till it burns out. Sediment build-up on the bottom of gas water heaters encourages noisy operation. The noise is brought on by tiny amounts of water under the sediment layer turning into steam bubbles, which then collapse violently.

Note: Sediment construct-up can lower the energy efficiency of the heater and void the warranty on some Residential Water Heaters!

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance:

Flushing-Most tankless water heater manufacturers propose flushing the whole unit every single six months to 1 year based upon the water excellent. Reference your manufactures recommendation for flushing. Flushing the unit often removes any mineral deposits (generally calcium or lime) that may perhaps have built up inside the boilers. Suppliers recommend employing a utility pump to circulate three or 4 gallons of vinegar or a different low-grade acid for 45 minutes to clean out any deposits.