Most homeowners don’t give their hot water heater a second thought, until there is a serious problem! Typically, a problem with your hot water heater will mean an uncomfortably cold shower, or worse, a flood in your basement. Paying a little more attention to this important appliance and giving the water heater regular maintenance can prevent unfortunate accidents and give you a warning when it’s time for a hot water tank replacement.
Richard’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd. in Calgary gives some hot water tank maintenance tips:
Flush the tank annually.
Draining your hot water tank is part of it’s regular maintenance. Over time, minerals from your hard water, including calcium, will start to build up and settle at the bottom of the tank. This build-up of grit can create a barrier tween the heat source and the water, making the tank work harder to heat the water. The harder it works the harder it is on the tank’s bottom. You’ve probably heard someone share how the bottom of their hot water tank dropped out, flooding the utility room. This sediment build-up is the blame. Learn how to drain a hot water heater.
Inspect the temperature and pressure valve.
The temperature and pressure (T&P) valve is designed to relieve pressure and protect the hot water heater from excess pressures and temperatures that could be dangerous. If there is too much pressure or heat, it will discharge water to relieve the tank. If your T&P valve has calcium built up in it, it might not be operating properly. Your tank can have an increase in pressure if there is a faulty thermostat combined with a clogged T&P valve and that could result in an explosion of dangerously hot steam. If you think this could happen, shut off the water and gas supply to the tank and call Richards Plumbing & Heating immediately.
Check for rust.
Storage tank hot water heaters are meant to last 7 to 10 years and most will be resistant to rust for the length of their warranty. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to keep their old hot water tanks much longer than that. If you have an older tank, you should inspect it regularly for rust and corrosion and replace those parts. It’s possible that the inside of the tank is starting to rust. If you have noticed your hot water smelling and tasting like rust, or that it has a slight rust colour, it’s time to replace the tank.
Replace your hot water heater before it malfunctions.
Unfortunately, when hot water heaters are done, it usually involves a major leak or some flooding. Water can cause serious damage to your floors, drywall, framing and other components of your home. The cost of restoring water damage and dealing with a flooded basement is much higher than the cost of a hot water heater replacement.
Signs it’s time for a new hot water heater include:
– Leaks from the bottom of the tank.
– Evidence of rust on the inside of the tank.
– You’re not getting enough hot water.
– Your hot water heater is more than 10 years old.
Contact Richard’s Plumbing & Heating for hot water heater repairs and replacements.