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S.E. Tradesmen Plumbing and Gas
Certified Veteran Owned Plumbing Company

1-850-SET-2023

101: Water Heater Maintenance

Maintenance and repair tips

Your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home, providing hot water for showers, baths, washing dishes, and more. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your water heater, ensure that it operates safely and efficiently, and save you money on repairs and replacements. Here are some tips for maintaining your water heater:

  1. Check the pressure relief valve the pressure relief valve is a safety feature that prevents the water heater from building up too much pressure. To check it, turn off the power to the water heater and shut off the cold water supply. Then, lift the valve and let some water out. If water doesn’t come out or the valve is stuck, replace it.
  2. Over time, sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank, reducing its efficiency and causing damage. To drain the tank, turn off the power and the cold water supply. Then, attach a hose to the drain valve and run it to a drain or outside. Open the valve and let the water drain out until it runs clear.
  3. Inspect the anode rod. The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod that helps prevent corrosion inside the tank. To inspect it, turn off the power and the cold water supply. Then, locate the rod and check for signs of corrosion or wear. If it’s less than 1/2 inch thick or covered in calcium deposits, replace it.
  4. The temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve prevents the water heater from overheating and building up too much pressure. To check it, turn off the power and the cold water supply. Then, locate the valve and test it by lifting the lever. If it doesn’t release water or if the water is too hot, replace it.

 

Regular maintenance can help your water heater operate safely and efficiently, saving you money and headaches down the line. If you’re unsure about how to perform any of these tasks or if you need help with your water heater, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Replace a Water Heater Element

Replacing a faulty element on an electric water heater can help restore hot water to your home. Replacing a faulty element on an electric water heater can be done by following these steps carefully:

    1. Before you begin, turn off the power supply to the water heater at the breaker box or fuse box.

    2. Drain the tank and turn off the cold water supply valve to the heater. Then, open a hot water faucet in the house to relieve pressure in the tank and attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Run the hose outside or to a drain and open the valve to drain the tank.

    3. Remove the access panel(s) on the side of the tank where the element is located. Remove any insulation covering the access panel.

    4. Using a wrench or socket set, remove the old element by turning it counterclockwise. If it is difficult to turn, use a breaker bar or a cheater bar for leverage.

    5. Insert the new element into the hole and tighten it by turning it clockwise. Be careful not to overtighten it.

    6. Reconnect the wires to the new element, making sure they are tightened securely. Replace any insulation and the access panel.

    7. Close the drain valve and turn on the cold water supply valve to refill the tank. Open the hot water faucet you turned on earlier to let air escape from the tank.

    8. Once the tank is full, turn on the power supply to the water heater at the breaker box or fuse box.

Adjust Water Heater temperature

Adjusting the temperature of your electric water heater can help you save energy and reduce the risk of scalding. 

Keep in mind, at around 130- degrees Fahrenheit, second-degree burns can happen within 17 seconds. Be mindful of children and the elderly when increasing your water heater’s thermostat!

How to adjust your temperature:

    1. Before you begin, turn off the power supply to the water heater at the breaker box or fuse box.

    2. The thermostat is usually located behind an access panel on the side of the water heater.

    3. Remove the access panel(s) to access the thermostat.

    4. Using a flathead screwdriver, adjust the temperature dial to your desired setting. Make sure to refer to your water heater manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended temperature range. Typically, the ideal range is between 110- and 120-degrees Fahrenheit.

    5. Replace any insulation and the access panel.

    6. Once the panel is secured, turn on the power supply to the water heater at the breaker box or fuse box.

Adjusting the temperature of your electric water heater can be done by following these steps carefully. Remember to refer to your water heater manufacturer’s instructions and recommended temperature range for safety and efficiency.

If you’re not sure, call an expert!

If you are unsure about any step or have doubts about performing the task, seek help from a professional plumber.

S.E. Tradesmen is standing by for any of your plumbing needs!

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