Water heater maintenance tips

There are many benefits to taking care of your water heater. Insulation can reduce heat loss by as much as 45 percent, and as much as 9 percent on water heating costs. Flushing the sediment out of the tank will improve efficiency and prolong its life. The tank’s inside will not rust if there is a functioning anode rod. It is much cheaper to replace a worn-out rod than a new heater.

Here are some steps to maintain a hot water heater
The TPR Valve is available for testing

Turn off the power supply and cold water valve.
A bucket should be placed under the pipe that connects to the temperature pressure-release (TPR), valve at the top or side the tank. This valve is used to release the tank pressure if it gets too high.
To let water out, lift the tab of the valve and let it go. If the water heater replacement continues to flow, drain the tank partially, then unscrew the valve using a pipe wrench and replace it with a new one.

The Anode Rod is in your possession

Place a hose on the tank’s drain cock to let out a few gallons.
Install a 1-1/16 inch socket on the rod’s socket head. It shouldn’t be less than 1/2-inch thick, or coated with calcium. If so, purchase a new rod, wrap its threads in Teflon tape and put it back into the tank. If there isn’t enough headroom above the tank, you can use this segmented rod.

Drain the tank and wash out any sediment

The remaining water from the tank should be emptied into a bucket. Next, stir the sediment out of the tank’s bottom with a short opening of the cold-water supply valve. Drain the tank and then continue to drain until you get clean water.
Turn off the power supply, close the drain cock and refill the tank.

Adjust the temperature

Locate the temperature dial on the tank’s side and remove its cover. Use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the dial to 120°. You can expect to save as much as 5 percent for every 10 degrees that the temperature is dropped.
If you are going to be away for longer than three days, turn the water heater off and the thermostat to the lowest setting.

Insulate the Pipes

Self-sticking foam pipe insulation 3/8 inch thick that matches the pipes’ size is available.
As far as possible, slide the foam over the cold- and hot-water pipes. The cold-water pipe can be insulated to prevent condensation from summer.
The insulation should be removed from the tape. Cover the pipe with unfaced fiberglass pipe wrap if it is less than 6 inches from the flue.

Insulate the Heater

The insulating blanket can be cut to fit around pipes and TPR valves.
Cover the tank’s side with foil tape and seal the edges. Cover the tops of gas or oil heaters.
Cover an electric heater with a large circle of insulation and securely tape it to the tank’s side.