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;

First Step 

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.

    Second Step

  • 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.

  • Third Step

  • 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.