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There's No Better Way To Start Spring Cleaning Than With the Water Heater!

Technician checking a water heater

Why It’s Important To Maintain Your Water Heater

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, homeowners everywhere roll up their sleeves to work on their spring cleaning. That could mean clearing out the garage, getting the back porch back into barbecuing shape, or doing a deep clean of the whole house, but one task often gets overlooked - water heater maintenance. 

Unfortunately, neglecting water heater maintenance can be more costly and inconvenient than unsightly clutter or cobwebs. This article will explain everything homeowners need to know about water heater maintenance, from why it matters to what it entails.

Why Does a Water Heater Need To Be Flushed?

A water heater needs to be flushed periodically to remove sediment or scale buildup from inside the tank. This sediment is formed when dissolved minerals in the incoming water, such as calcium and magnesium, form into solid particles and settle at the bottom of the tank. 

As layer upon layer of sediment forms, the heat exchanger below will no longer be able to heat the water properly, and small amounts of water trapped beneath the layers of sediment will begin to boil (it can sound like popping from the outside). This can potentially damage the inner tank wall. The presence of sediment can also lead to corrosion of the tank wall, which can mean the end of the entire unit.

Other Important Water Heater Maintenance Tasks

It’s plain to see why flushing the sediment out of a water heater at least once a year is so important, but it’s not the only thing that needs to be done. Other key maintenance tasks include testing the T&P (temperature & pressure) relief valve to ensure it’s functioning properly and checking for leaks on joints, connections, and the tank itself. The anode rod (an anti-corrosion device inside the tank) also needs to be inspected and replaced if it’s in bad condition.

Homeowners can generally perform a few of these tasks themselves with the help of their owner’s manual, but other maintenance tasks are best left to the professionals. Some of the items on a professional water heater service checklist include cleaning the burners, testing electrical systems and safety devices, checking the pilot light for proper function, and inspecting the exhaust vent and gas lines for leaks.

Why Regular Maintenance Is Beneficial

Annual water heater maintenance is beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, routine maintenance helps ensure safety by addressing potential risk factors (i.e., gas or carbon monoxide leaks, faulty relief valves, etc.). Secondly, as touched on above, a clean water heater tank and intact anode rod lower the risk of corrosion and a premature breakdown, thereby extending the unit's life and reducing the likelihood of costly repairs or replacement.

Last but certainly not least, maintenance helps improve the unit’s performance and efficiency, which can save money over the long term and eliminate issues like a lack of hot water or temperature fluctuations. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why water heater maintenance should be at the top of this year’s spring cleaning checklist!

About Knight Plumbing, Inc.

Knight Plumbing, Inc. has served its neighbors in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas since 2002. Their licensed and background-checked technicians always arrive on time and never leave homes a mess. Call them today for upfront pricing on plumbing services in Milwaukee, WI.