Hand attaches hose to water heater drain to perform maintenance

Why Your Water Heater Should Have Routine Maintenance

As with so many of the appliances in your home, you probably appreciate your water heater but seldom think about it. While a water heater should serve your residence for up to 12 years, you may cut that life expectancy dramatically short without proper maintenance. Consider these reasons why your water heater requires attention on a regular basis.

Maintaining Safety

Your water heater actually has inherent risks with it. This is true even if you have an electric unit. There are safety components on your equipment to keep it safe, but they require annual testing to ensure they’re still working. These include temperature and pressure valves, not to mention gas regulation valves on natural gas units. Without routine testing, you risk damage to your home and harm to your family.

Optimizing Efficiency

One of the keys to picking a water heater is the system’s efficiency. Neglected water heaters collect sediment in the bottom, especially with the hard water we have around Boise, ID. This mineral does not conduct heat well, making your unit work harder to heat the water inside. Lower efficiency translates into a higher utility cost for heating your water, not to mention additional repairs.

Extending Service Life

Not only does maintenance help keep your system efficient, but it also extends the life of your unit. When minerals collect on the bottom of your tank, they can cause significant problems. This could be as simple as burning out your electric heating element. In gas units, it could create hot spots in the tank, weakening the tank wall and causing leaks.

Maintaining Volume

As sediment builds up on the bottom of your storage tank, it also takes up room, reducing the space available for water. Furthermore, because the minerals don’t conduct heat well, this buildup reduces the capacity of available hot water for use before having to heat more.

Preventing Home Damage

A neglected water heater is more likely to cause significant damage to your home. This happens because it will start leaking, usually with no one noticing for a long time. This leads to damage to floors and anything around the water heater. These leaks can be in the seals, in seams, or from the safety valves.

What Water Heater Maintenance Includes

You’ve probably heard that your water heater needs annual flushing. However, this is just the start. The TPR valve also requires annual testing. The sacrificial anode rod needs inspection and possibly replacement. The temperature setting needs to be checked and adjusted if necessary. Finally, if you have a gas water heater, the thermal couple for the pilot light and the burner may need cleaning.

Make sure you have hot water when you need it by keeping your unit properly maintained. Call today to schedule your Boise-area water heater inspection or repair appointment with our experts at Viking Plumbing.