Keeping Domestic Water Heaters in Good Shape

Domestic water heaters installed in modern homes can last for more than a decade. However, durability is dependent on proper care and maintenance aimed at keeping all the components of the heater in good shape. Hot water maintenance is a manageable task for most homeowners. You can do it once a year, or twice a year if you heat lots of hard water. Routine servicing is something you can handle if you have the right tools and information to use throughout the whole process. Here is a how-to guide you can use for the routine maintenance of the water heater in your home.

First Things First    

Safety always comes first when you take on any do-it-yourself project at home. Servicing your water heater is no different. Start by turning off the power supply at the main switch to eliminate the risk of electrocution. If you still need to have power in some areas of the house, turn off the circuit-breaker connected to the heater. The circuit-breaker sits in the main service or breaker box of your home.

Carry Out a Mini Flush    

A mini flush is an essential servicing procedure carried out to remove sediment from the water heater's tank. It also makes the heater more efficient in terms of energy consumption. Locate the drain valve near the heater's tank and place a bucket under the valve. Turn the drain valve open to release about five litres of water. You need to be cautious here as the water running out of the drain valve might be too hot. Finish this step by closing the drain valve.

Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

A domestic water heater must have certain safety features that will keep you out of harm's way. The temperature and pressure (T and P) relief valve is a classic example of these features. The T and P valve monitors the pressure inside the heater's tank to prevent any hazardous build-up. When the pressure or temperature goes too high, the valve opens automatically to release some of the pressure and keep things normal in the tank.

Place a large bucket right under the discharge pipe connected to the T and P valve. Open the valve manually by lifting its lever, and let the water run for a few seconds. Release the lever and let it fall back into position. If the valve fails to open and release some water, then you need to replace it.