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A close-up view of the controls of a domestic water heater that is well maintained

Water Heater Maintenance: Tips for Prolonging Your System’s Life

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As plumbers in New Orleans for over 40 years, Blair Plumbing understands the importance of a reliable hot water heater. It’s an essential appliance that keeps your showers warm, dishes clean, and laundry comfortable. But like any machine, water heaters require regular maintenance to function efficiently and last for years to come.

Neglecting your water heater can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Reduced efficiency: Sediment buildup in the tank can force your water heater to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, leading to higher energy bills.
  • Premature failure: Without proper care, your water heater can break down prematurely, leaving you without hot water and facing the cost of a replacement.
  • Safety hazards: A malfunctioning water heater can leak or release harmful gases, posing a risk to your home and family.

By following these simple water heater maintenance tips, you can avoid these issues and extend the lifespan of your system:

1. Flush your water heater annually

Sediment, consisting of minerals and debris from your water supply, can accumulate in the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment buildup acts like an insulator, forcing your water heater to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This not only reduces efficiency and increases your energy bills, but can also shorten the lifespan of your system. Flushing your water heater annually removes this sediment, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

While most water heaters have a drain valve that allows for DIY flushing, it can be a messy and time-consuming process. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, plumbers in New Orleans like Blair Plumbing can handle the task quickly and efficiently. We have the experience and equipment to ensure a thorough and safe flush, leaving your water heater functioning at its best.

2. Adjust the temperature

Most water heaters come set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can safely lower it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit without noticing a significant difference in your hot water experience. This simple adjustment can result in substantial energy savings on your water heating costs. Remember, every 10-degree decrease in water temperature translates to a 3-5% reduction in energy consumption.

3. Inspect the pressure relief valve

The pressure relief valve is a crucial safety feature in your water heater. It’s designed to release excess pressure that can build up inside the tank if the temperature rises too high. A malfunctioning pressure relief valve can pose a serious safety hazard, potentially leading to tank ruptures and flooding.

Test the pressure relief valve annually by lifting the lever and letting it go. If it doesn’t reseat properly or leaks, don’t attempt to fix it yourself. Instead, contact Blair Plumbing to replace the valve immediately.

A plumber in a home setting uses specialized equipment to fix a malfunctioning water heater, ensuring the return of hot water.

4. Check the anode rod

The anode rod is a sacrificial metal component inside your water heater tank. It attracts corrosion, preventing the tank itself from rusting and deteriorating. Over time, the anode rod will weaken and eventually need replacement.

We recommend having the anode rod inspected and replaced every 3-5 years, or more frequently in areas with hard water. This proactive maintenance step helps extend the lifespan of your water heater tank and protects it from costly damage.

5. Insulate the tank

Adding insulation to your water heater tank is a relatively simple and inexpensive DIY project that can significantly improve its efficiency. The insulation helps retain heat, minimizing heat loss and reducing the amount of energy your water heater needs to maintain the desired temperature. This translates to lower energy bills and increased savings over time.

6. Call a professional for any leaks or concerns

If you notice any leaks, unusual noises, or a decrease in hot water capacity, don’t hesitate to call Blair Plumbing. Our experienced and licensed plumbers can diagnose the problem and provide the necessary repairs to keep your water heater functioning properly and safely. We offer prompt and reliable service to ensure your hot water needs are always met.

By following these water heater maintenance tips, you can ensure your system operates efficiently and reliably for years to come. Remember, a little preventative maintenance can save you money, frustration, and even the cost of a premature water heater replacement. If you have any questions or concerns about your water heater, contact us today. We’re always happy to help!

Don’t wait until you’re facing a cold shower! For expert water heater maintenance and repairs, contact Blair Plumbing, your trusted plumbers in New Orleans. Call us today at (504) 555-1212 orvisit us at our location: 325 Hickory Ave. Harahan, LA 70123

Services We Offer:

Residential Plumbing | Commercial Plumbing | Water Heater Repair & Replacement | Plumbing Inspections | Drain Cleaning | Gas LIine Repairs