Taking care of your water heater is just as important as taking care of other parts of your home, such as the sprinkler system. If you notice that a lot of rain is coming, then chances are you have set your sprinkler system to not run, as it will waste money. When it comes to taking care of your water heater, there are a few tips and tricks to maximize your hot water usage as well as save you money in the process. Remember, it is always important to have a professional plumber come inspect your unit every year to make sure things are operating as they are designed to do, and these steps do not replace that important task. Here are a few water heater maintenance things you can do on your own every year.
Check the Temperature Setting
When changing the temperature gauge, it is crucial to know that a very tiny adjustment can make a very big difference in the temperature of your water inside the home. Most people find that the best temperature to set the tank at is 120 degrees. If you set it any higher than this, then your chances of experiencing scalding water and even burns to the skin are greatly increased.
Keep the Area Clean
Regardless of if your water heater is a gas or electric unit, always make sure to keep the surrounding area as clean as possible. In the event of a gas or water leak, you want to protect your other belongings as much as possible. The less clutter, the better off you will be.
Flush the Tank
At least once a year, you need to completely drain your tank and flush out all of the build up of sediment and debris. Depending on where you live, this might need to happen several times a year due to the amount of minerals found in your water. Failure to take care of this will result in your water not being as hot as desired as well as other potentially dangerous issues, such as tank explosion.
When you are out of town, there is no need to heat the water because no one inside the house will be there to access it. To keep your gas consumption down, set your gas water heater to vacation mode. This setting will keep the pilot light on without actually applying gas to heat the water. Just be sure to turn it back on when you get back home or you will be met with cold water in your shower!