Water Heater Preventative Maintenance Tips

If you have a traditional water heater in your home, it's advised you have regular maintenance check ups performed by an experienced plumber, such as at http://www.knightsplumbinganddrain.com/. In the event of a problem with your water heater, there are several things you can do yourself to fix it without spending a lot of money on repairs. Learn more about what to do and what to look for if your water heater is working improperly or even leaking.

Before You Begin Troubleshooting

Before doing anything with your water heater, make sure all of the valves that are connected are shut off tightly to prevent water from spewing out as you work. If your water heater is gas, be sure to turn the valve to the pilot position. This will keep it from turning on suddenly while you drain the water out. If your water heater is powered by electricity, it's important that you turn the breaker off before working, or else you may run the risk of electrical shock.

Common Problems

A common issue with water heaters can be an improperly draining flue. To determine this, light a match next to the housing and look at any smoke. All smoke should be rising up the flue. If it is not, it may be related to how the water is draining from there. Another common issue can be the temperature relief in the water heater. You can test this by putting a bucket underneath the pipe that comes out of the heater. Open the valve and see where the water is flowing. If working properly, it should only flow out when open, and then stop when closed. Check that the thermostat is set to the factory recommended temperature and try again.

Other Things to Troubleshoot

Before you call a plumber, try these other simple troubleshooting methods:

  • Make sure the pilot light on your gas water heater is burning a blue color and steadily. If not, it may just need to be re-lit.   
  • Take a look at the burner and how it's operating. Take off the flame shield and move away from it as you turn the thermostat up to view how the flames are burning.
  • Leaking can sometimes be caused by buildup inside of the tank. Attach a hose to the drain valve and run it outdoors. An important thing to note is that the water could be extremely hot, so be aware! Open the drain valve and look for excess debris or sediment. Once the water runs clear, all excess that is causing the clogging should be removed.