Fall Water Heater Maintenance and Efficiency Tips

It’s easy to take your water heater for granted as it works quietly, tucked in an out-of-the-way area of your home.

A bit of yearly plumbing maintenance can make your water heater work much more efficiently and last longer.

The best time to do this is in the Fall, before your water heater starts working harder in the winter months. As you prepare your San Jose home for these colder months, use these handy tips to perform water heater maintenance and keep your unit in great working order.

Lower Your Thermostat Setting

The default setting for most manufacturers of water heaters is 140 degrees. According to the Department of Energy, an average household only needs 120 degrees. Make sure you lower your thermostat to this setting. You’ll enjoy benefits such as lower risk of scalding, slower corrosion and accumulation of destructive sediment in your tank, and reduced energy consumption.

Test the Pressure Valve

Electric and gas water heaters have a pressure release valve. It’s a safety feature that releases some pressure when the water tank over-pressurizes. If it malfunctions, it could cause – in the worst-case scenario – an explosion. If you can’t locate this pressure valve, check your heater’s manual. Perform this simple test to check if it’s working correctly.

  • First, shut off the gas to a gas water heater or electricity if you have an electric water heater.
  • Turn off the cold water valve that’s at the top of your tank.
  • Position a bucket below the discharge pipe then lift the lever.

The valve should release some water into the bucket. If it doesn’t, you should replace it.

Drain the Tank

Sediment in the water usually settles at the bottom of your water heater tank. Over time, this sediment buildup can cause clogs, reduce your heater’s efficiency, and shorten its lifespan. You should drain your water heater at least once a year to remove the accumulated sediment. Take these basic steps.

  • First, shut off the gas or electricity to your heater.
  • Turn off the cold water inlet valve. You can wait for some time for the water temperature in the tank to reduce.
  • Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and place the other end in a bucket or nearby sink.
  • Open the pressure relief and drain valves.
  • After the tank drains completely, close the drain valve and disconnect the garden hose.
  • Close the pressure valve.
  • Turn on the water supply to refill the tank.
  • Finish by turning on the electricity or gas to your water heater.

Taking all the above steps will help ensure your water heater operates optimally throughout the fall and winter. If you’d rather have a professional do them for you, contact us at Gogo Rooter.

We proudly serve San Jose homes and businesses with quality plumbing services including water heater repairs, replacement and maintenance, pipe leak detection and repairs, and sewer and drain cleaning.

Our management staff has an average hands-on experience of over 25 years, and our highly trained plumbers are skilled to get the job done right the first time. For emergency plumbing or maintenance, give us a call at 408-282-7026, or click here, and we’ll be there to help 24/7.

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