Ignoring water heater maintenance can only lead to problems. Regular hot water tank maintenance can save your water heater from minor or major issues. Plus, it can drastically improve the lifespan of your hot water tank. You can save yourself headache and money by doing some simple regular maintenance on your water heater.
Here are a few hot water tank maintenance tips for you:
Drain the Tank
Over time, naturally occurring calcium in the water ‘scales’ and settles at the bottom of the tank. The calcium buildup is sometimes muddy and gritty, and commonly known as sediment. Sediment buildup in your tank can cause many problems, but most importantly it becomes a barrier between the heat source at the bottom of the tank. This forces the tank to work harder to heat the water which further breaks down the integrity of the tank floor. Hence, regular draining of the tank prevents sediment build-up.
Insulate the Pipes
Buy a self-sticking 3/8 inch-thick foam pipe insulation that matches the pipes’ diameter. Slide the foam over the hot- and cold- water pipes. In summer, the insulated cold-water pipe prevents condensation. If the pipe is 6 inches or less from the flue, cover it with 1-inch thick surface fiberglass pipe wrap.
Insulate the Heater
Cut the insulating blanket to fit it around pipes. Wrap the side of the tank and seal it with a foil tape. Make sure you don’t cover the top part of your oil and gas water heater.
Complete Annual Water Heater Inspection
Check the draft hood and make sure it is placed properly with a few inches of air space between the tank and where it connects to the vent in a gas water heater. Start with the top of your water heater and check for any leaks or heavy corrosion on the pipes and valves. Look for corrosion or wear on the gas line and on the piping. Check the thermostat and the area below the thermostat, where the chamber is located.
It’s always best to contact professionals if you don’t have any experience in working with hot water tanks. There are different types of water heaters, some work on gas, while some work on electricity. Hence, the maintenance checks for different types of hot water tanks may differ. If your hot water tank has not been functioning efficiently, it’s time to get it checked by professionals.