It labors night and day, providing you with gallons of warm water for those long, luxurious baths and soothing showers. Because your hard-working water heater has such an important role to play, you definitely want to keep it in tip-top shape. Fortunately, there's a simple, reliable way to accomplish this. It's called routine maintenance. This involves a few basic steps that are as simple as they are reliable.
Approximately every six months you'll want to open the drain valve, which is conveniently located on the bottom of the heater. Allow the escaping water to drain into a bucket or other container until the liquid is clear. Typically, this is about 5 gallons worth. This simple but important procedure prevents harmful sediment from gathering inside of your heater.
Once a year, test your heater's temperature-pressure relief buildup level. To do this, lift or depress the proper handle to drain water from the overflow pipe. If no water comes out, your valve has seen better days and needs replacing. In that case, shut off the water flow to the heater and open a hot water faucet anywhere in your home. Then install the replacement.
If you ever notice steam or boiling water flowing out of the valve or hot water faucets, you're looking at a telltale sign that your heater is overheating. Another symptom is a heater that happens to be producing an unusual rumbling sound. In either instance, you'll want to switch off the heater and call in a water heater repair professional for an evaluation.
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