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Hot Water Maintenance: What To Do On Your Own and What Not

Everyone looks forward to a hot shower, but without proper maintenance, you might find yourself taking a cold shower after a long day! Water heaters are pretty easy to forget about because they are typically out of sight, which causes you to miss out on regular maintenance checks. We’re here to help you keep your hot water running consistently by providing you with maintenance tips you can do on your own and when you need to call in the professionals.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

All hot water heaters with a storage tank include a pressure relief valve. This valve is a CRUCIAL safety feature. The valve allows water to drain in the circumstance of your water heater reaching dangerous pressure levels.

To test the pressure relief valve, lift the tab on the valve and then let go. Water should flow when the tab is up but stop when it’s down. If you are experiencing something different, you will likely need a new relief valve.

Inspect the Anode Rod

The anode rod protects the inner lining of your water heater tank. Testing the rod is a preventative maintenance task to ensure you don’t end up with a leaky tank. The inspection requires you to drain water, loosen the hex head, and inspect the thickness and exterior coating of the rod. This task can be a little more dangerous than the rest without proper tools, so make sure to be cautious of electrical hazards. We recommend you leave this one to the professionals!

Check the Temperature Setting

If you have a tankless system, it’s a good idea to review the temperature setting of your tankless system annually. If your system is turned up too high, it can increase not only your utility bill but the amount of scale that builds up as well.

OSHA recommends a hot water heater’s temperature to be set, at maximum, 140° F. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that in-home hot water heaters are set to 120° F. While checking the temperature is a task you can quite easily do on your own, you can reach out to your local plumber to help determine the best general temperature setting for your home.

Insulate the Heater and Pipes

Your water heater is designed to hold a large amount of hot water at a consistent temperature. Now, while this is super convenient for those hot shower lovers, it’s not the most energy-efficient process.

To improve insulation and efficiency, get an insulation blanket to wrap around your heater. Installation requires a good chunk of time since it needs to be trimmed around all the pipes and components of your system but it can be done on your own! You can also insulate the pipes running into your water heater. Pipe insulation comes in a range of sizes to fit the common diameters of the pipes. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

By following these DIY maintenance steps, you can help expand the life of your water heater in addition to your annual water heater check-up! As your resident Chicagoland Water Heater Experts, you can keep up on maintenance between check-ups by following the given tips, but if you aren’t comfortable performing them DON’T. That’s what we are here for! Give our Precision Today team a call at (630) 216-8567. We’ll answer any of your questions and get you the help you need Today and Every Day!