Water Heater Maintenance
Prevention is always better (and less expensive) then the cure when it comes to household appliances and that adage certainly holds true for water heaters. If you want to make sure that your device stays in peak condition for as long as possible, then you should follow some of these maintenance routines on a regular basis.
Remember, water heaters contain a lot of fragile parts and electric models can create their own particular risks. If you’re unsure about your ability to deal with these concerns then hire a licensed and experience plumber of HVAC technician to handle your water heater maintenance instead.
Maintenance for Conventional Storage Tanks
These appliances are expected to provide 10-12 years of functionality with regular maintenance.
Draining the Tank
• Make sure the cold water valve is closed and the power supply is switched off.
• Connect a hose to the drain valve.
• Put the draining valve near a gutter, on in a safe position where nobody will be affected by the outflow of hot water.
• Open the pressure valve and the drain valve simultaneously.
• Wait for the tank to drain completely, this will ensure that all debris and sediment drains out.
• Open up all the hot water taps in the house, and turn on the cold water valve of the tank.
• Position the draining end of the hose into a bucket.
• Run cold water through the tank, until the water coming out of the hose runs clear.
• Once you’re done, shut off both valves and turn on the power supply.
Maintenance for Tankless Water Heaters
The main thing to watch out for with tankless water heaters is mineral build-ups on the heating coils and interior of the heating chamber. If neglected, these deposits can severely hamper the efficiency and lifespan of your heating systems. Tankless water heaters are generally expected to last over 20 years with regular maintenance.
• Switch off the main power supply for your water heater.
• Unscrew the water heater lid.
• Turn off the main water valves connected to your water heater (one for cold water, one for hot water, and one for feeding water into your home). This will prevent water from flowing in or out of your system while you clean it.
• Remove the purge port caps from cold and hot water valves. This will release any built-up pressure within the pipes and prevent any hot water remnants from shooting out onto your skin. When initiating a removal, make sure that the rubber sealing discs stay in place.
• Attach hosing lines to each of the valves. These are usually included with the water heater.
• Open the purge port valves by twisting the valves into a perpendicular position from the main cold and hot water valves.
• Use a 2.5 gallon bottle of white vinegar to clean out the inside chamber of your water heater.
• Flush and drain following the directions on your user manual.
• Close the purge port valves.
• Disconnect the rubber hosing.
• Replace the purge port valve caps, and ensure that they are fully tightened.
• Locate the filter. Unscrew it, and clean out the sediment chamber by running it under a tap until completely empty. Re-screw the filter into place.
• Check the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on safely restarting your water heater.
• Run your hot water taps for 2-3 minutes until no more air passes through the pipes.
Maintenance for Hybrid Water Heaters
Just like conventional storage heaters, hybrid heaters require regular draining and cleaning. In addition, their air filters must be regularly cleaned out in a similar fashion to tankless water heaters. Refer to your manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on locating, removing and replacing air filters on your unit.