Learn how to improve your water heater’s efficiency and perhaps even lower your utility bills.
There are a few ways to help prolong the life of your water heater and keep it in top working order. Following these six tips, each year may help you to have a longer tank life expectancy, lower energy bills and minimize damage as a result of water leakage.
1. Know where your water heater is located
Not only should you know where the water heater is, but you should also have clear access to it, as sometimes it’s tucked away in an attic or basement and the plumbing is not easy to reach.
2. Know what type of water heater you have
You should know whether your water heater is natural gas, electric or propane, or whether it’s a storage tank type or a tankless type water heater. Also, write down the model number and the serial number of your water heater or at least know where this information is on the tank as it has the age and gallon capacity coded into it.
3. Know how to turn off the water
It’s a good idea before you’re facing a water heater dilemma, to know how to shut off the water and the fuel or power supply to the water heater. This is important in the event of an emergency or if your water heater is leaking or you smell gas. There should be a gas valve or a disconnect switch within a few feet of the water heater. It’s also a good idea to know where your main gas shut-off valve is or which breaker is used for the water heater.
As for the water shut-off, most shut-off valves are located above the water heater on the cold side piping. You also should locate your water shut-off valve coming into your home. If you need any special tools to turn any of the valves off or to open the breaker box, keep those nearby and in clear sight. This will make all the difference when you have water leaking all over or if you smell gas and time is of the essence.
4. Clear the area around your water heater
There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to give your water heater some space.
- A gas-fired unit needs a good supply of oxygen to burn the gas. If a water heater is smothered and can’t get enough oxygen, it can affect the efficiency of the unit as well as cause damage to the burner chamber and other water heater parts. It can even cause carbon monoxide leaks.
- If the unit starts to leak, you may not catch it as soon if the area is hidden from view. This has the potential to cause severe water damage and even waste energy as the water heater has to reheat the water more often.
- Storing items too close to the water heater can be a fire hazard.
5. Drain or flush your water heater
It is always a good idea to have a Brother’s plumbing professional drain and flush your water heater at least once a year. If we notice a lot of sediment or debris, then a full flush is recommended.
Nobody thinks that a hot water tank could be a safety concern in their homes but we at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, & Electric know better. Our water heater repair service and water heater replacement service is your solution. We also recommend that once your water heater repair or water heater replacement is completed, your hot water should not exceed 125 degrees F. Exceeding this temperature poses a serious risk of burns, particularly to younger children.
Your water heater is a major energy consumer in your home. If your water heater is more than a few years old, you may consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model.