You have a few weeks before the Kansas-Missouri chill sets in. Take this time to do a water heater maintenance check. If you need to purchase a new water heater, you can and should consider various models’ energy saving qualities. But you can also take these steps to increase your water heater’s efficiency, help ensure it runs smoothly for years to come, and give you one less thing to worry about in the winter months.
Use this checklist to perform water heater maintenance a couple of times a year.
- Check the perimeter of your water heater and make sure there’s a least two feet of clearance.
- Make sure the thermostat is set at 120 degrees. This will provide the hot water you need but reduce the risk of scalding.
- Attach a garden hose to the valve and drain about a quarter of the tank. Run it until the water looks clear to remove sediment. Do this again in six months.
- Discharge the temperature-pressure relief (TPR) valve a couple of times to test it. You should do this once a year, and the rest of the year watch for small leaks from the valve.
- You can improve efficiency by installing a fiberglass blanket for insulation. When you install it, you don’t need to cover the flue, thermostat or valves.
- Every few years, you should check the sacrificial anode rod. Do this while the tank is partially drained and with the power off. Locate and remove the hex head screw, then remove the rod. If more than six inches of the core steel wire is showing, the anode rod probably needs to be replaced.
- If you’re leaving town, set the thermostat on gas heaters to the “Vacation” setting. This will keep the pilot light on without heating the water.
Remember Overland Park Heating and Cooling for all of your heating and cooling needs. We’ve been serving the Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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