New and used water heaters are used every day by and almost always forgotten about. Reliability is always a must when it comes to purchasing a water heater whether its gas or electric. A cheap water heater can more often be more trouble than its worth.
The right heater can last for years, especially with some simple maintenance. In this article I have outlined how 3 easy-to-do steps that can extend the life of your water heater. I see this time and time again and replace water heaters more often than what I should. Do yourself a favour and implement the following (3) steps;
Check the temperature your water heater is set to;
Go to the temperature setting dial on your water heater. It will be a knob on the gas valve or a thermostat behind an electric water heater panel. Dial the temperature setting down so it is between 46 to 50 degrees celcius. This lowered setting will protect the tank from overheating and will reduce the energy used when heating the water.
The temperature and pressure relief valve is paramount to proper operation and overall safety of your water heater. It’s a simple valve which is easily and quickly checked:
To test the T&P valve, lift up on the lever part way, then let go and allow it to quickly snap back. You will hear a gurgling sound as the valve allows a little water to be released into the drain tube. If the T&P valve didn’t do anything then it is bad and needs to be replaced.
Removal of sediments/settled debris from the bottom of the tank is vital to prevent rust, corrosion and improve the overall efficiency. Although a complete, full water heater tank draining and flush is always better, performing a full flush is a bit more work and requires completely shutting off the water heater. A mini-flush still works well, takes a lot less time time and allows you to do it while the water heater is still running:
Place a bucket under the drain valve found near the bottom of the tank. Some drain valves do have a handle. Turn the valve counter-clockwise to release a few litres of water into the bucket. Close the valve by turning it clockwise and drain the water from the bucket.