Extend the Life of Your Hot Water Heater
Water heaters are one of the most reliable appliances in the house. They usually run quietly and dependably and, if they are well-maintained, they can last a decade or more. As a homeowner, you can extend the life of your water heater even further and save money in the process.
1) Test the Pressure-Relief Valve
This valve opens automatically if the pressure inside the tank gets too high. If the valve doesn’t release water when you lift the lever, replace the valve. The replacement should be simple – turn off the water, drain the tank, unscrew the discharge pipe and then unscrew the old valve. Wrap the threats of the new valve with sealant tape and screw it in so it is secure.
2) Close the Shutoff Valve on the Cold Water Supply
Then, turn on the hot water to any faucet to release the pressure inside the heater’s tank. Leave the faucet turned on until you finish your work. If you have an electric heater, turn off the power at the main panel.
3) Drain the Tank
Sediment can build-up at the bottom of the tank, wearing on the appliance and shortening the life of your hot water heater. Draining 2 or 3 gallons of water is usually enough to flush out sediments, but always let the water flow until you no longer see particles in the bucket.
4) Finish Up
If the drain valve won’t close tightly when you’re done, drain the tank completely, unscrew the old valve and screw in a new one. To restart the water heater, open the shutoff valve and let the hot water run at any faucet to purge air from the system. Then turn on the power or relight the pilot.
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