Water Heater, How to Maintain it

Water Heater, How to Maintain it

Water Heater Maintenance

Hot water heaters need maintenance, to keep everything running efficiently. Hot water heaters run hard for you, rendering warm baths, washed clothes, and shining pots and pans. Show your water heater some love by developing a routine maintenance schedule that will keep it working for its conventional lifetime, and possibly beyond.

Safety IS Always First

Most water heater repairs are uncomplicated. However, if you aren’t suited to work with gas or electricity, The Spengler Company Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Sewer professionals are there to help.

The Pressure Valve

Gas and electric water heaters possess a safety device designated as a temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve). In any case, the tank over-pressurizes or over-heats, thus the relief valve opens and discharges the pressure. If the valve doesn’t operate precisely, the tank can over-pressurize and explode.

Proceed with Caution

Wear gloves, goggles and other shielding clothing while working on or maintaining your water heater.

First Step: Turn off electricity to the water heater or if you have gas turn the setting dial to pilot so the burner does not kick on. Shut off the cold water valve to the water heater.

Next Step: Put a bucket under the pressure release valve to catch any water that may come out. Pull the lever on the valve. You will hear a small rush of air or view some water and vapor exit the pressure release valve. If you do not hear anything drain the tank and put a new valve in your hot water heater.

Next Step: To repair the valve, remove the discharge pipe and extract the valve from the water heater, most of them unthread from the water heater. Match the stem length with an exact replacement. Screw the brand-new valve into place, tighten with a wrench. Reattach the discharge pipe, turn on the water back on and reconnect the electricity or turn on the pilot light according to the manufacturer specifications.

Flushing the Water Heater Tank

Deposit buildup in the tank can decrease your water heater’s energy performance and also plug your water lines. Dodge these issues and extend the life of your system by flushing the water heater tank each time you check the pressure relief valve.

First Step: Turn off electricity to the water heater or if you have gas turn the setting dial to pilot so the burner does not kick on.

Next Step: Attach a garden hose to the drain valve. Find the drain end of the hose in an enclosure that won’t be negatively affected by the hot water.

Next Step: Open the drain valve and let the tank flush for approximately 10 minutes to drain thoroughly. Flushing the tank assures that you’ve extracted the most sediment as possible.

Next Step: Shut the drain valve and detach the hose from the valve. Open the hot water faucets in the house, and turn on the cold water to the water heater tank to release air from the system.

Next Step: Close any hot-water faucets as water starts to flow from it. Once all the faucets are closed, turn on electricity to the water heater, or switch the gas switch to run.

Lighting the Pilot For Gas Water Heaters

First Step: With the valve in an “on” state and the control knob fixed to “pilot,” press the knob and press the igniter switch repeatedly. The light will flash when it’s lit and you should see a little flame in the view pane. Set the heat to 120 degrees or the letter ‘A’.

Always Use Caution

Obey your manufacturer’s pilot light instructions for precise directions on lighting the pilot.

Prior to Connecting the Electric to Electric Water Systems

First Step: The most glaring problem with electric water heaters is turning on the power before the tank being totally full of water. The upper heating element could burn out, and you might not have hot water till the upper element is fixed.

Next Step: To replace the top or bottom heating element, disconnect power to the unit and drain the water heater tank. Disconnect the wires from the heating element and loosen it using an element wrench. Unfasten the element and extract it straight out. Insert the new element in its place and tighten using the element wrench. Reconnect the wiring and prepare to refill the tank.

Next Step: Initiate the water running through a hot-water faucet- wide open and let the water run for a full 3 minutes. This assures all of the air has been withdrawn from the tank and the tank is flowing full of water. When the tank is full, switch the power on. If you don’t have hot water after a couple hours, stop to make sure the unit is receiving the correct voltage. No power or the wrong voltage causes several electric water heater issues. You may need an electrician to solve wiring obstacles.

Leaks From Heater and Drips


First Step: Most leaks are created by inadequate water supply fastenings. Use reliable materials, conventional techniques and check your work thoroughly. Compression fittings are simpler to install for do-it-yourselfers than copper tubes, these need to be soldered. But, keep in mind this is not a solution for a permanent fix. Hard pipe or copper are more permanent solution.

Final Step: Drops from the temperature and pressure relief valve secretion usually means a thermal expansion tank is required or the relief valve is going bad.

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