You probably don't spend a ton of time as a homeowner thinking about your water heater but you sure will miss it if something goes wrong and you suddenly find yourself standing in a cold shower. Luckily, with a little practice, performing regular maintenance tasks on your water heater isn't that difficult. Here are three things you should do on a regular basis to help ensure that your heater continues to run smoothly for years to come.
Clear Out the Area
The first maintenance tip doesn't actually involve any work on the heater itself. It's what's surrounding it that could be an issue. It's a good idea to always give your water heater some free space on all sides. A gas-fired heater needs a good supply of oxygen to burn the gas and if the heater is surrounded on all sides by boxes or other items, air might not be able to flow as easily. This could cause damage to the burner chamber or other parts. Boxes or other items stacked around the heater could also prevent you from seeing a leak if one should occur. Clear out some space around the heater and make sure you periodically check in to make sure no one else in your family has cluttered things up again.
Flush It Out
It's a good idea to flush a few gallons of water out of your heater once a year. You can use a large bucket or run a garden hose out to your yard and then press the drain valve. When flushing, look closely at the water for signs of sediment. If you find some, a full flush might be in order. Completely drain the tank and then turn the water back on to let it refill. Make sure you turn the temperature down first so no one gets accidentally burned. If this sounds too complicated, ask a professional for help.
Get an Annual Inspection
Even if you give your water heater some breathing room and regularly flush out the old water, you should still get a professional inspection at least once a year. A water heater repair specialist will be able to check all pipes and valves for signs of leaks or corrosion. If you should ever notice any kind of black residue, rust streaks or smell gas, get professional help at once.
Give your water heater a little TLC every once in a while and it will reward you with years of service. In addition to making sure the heater has enough sufficient airflow on all sides, get into the habit of flushing the heater a couple times a year to check for sediment. A regular professional inspection to check for other issues is also a good idea. Reach out to a local water heater repair specialist today for more information.