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Calgary Best Plumbers | Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Calgary Homeowners

Calgary Best Plumbers | When it comes to home comfort, your water heater plays a crucial role. In Calgary, where cold winters demand reliable hot water, maintaining your water heater is essential. Regular maintenance can extend its lifespan, improve efficiency, and prevent unexpected breakdowns. Here are some practical water heater maintenance tips for Calgary homeowners to ensure their systems run smoothly all year round.

Understand Your Water Heater

Before diving into maintenance, it’s important to know what type of water heater you have. The most common types are:

  1. Tankless Water Heaters: These units heat water on demand, offering high efficiency and endless hot water.
  2. Conventional Storage Water Heaters: These have a tank that holds hot water for use, typically requiring more maintenance.

Knowing the type of water heater you have will help you understand its specific maintenance needs.

Regular Inspection and Flushing

Annual Inspection

A yearly inspection by a professional plumber can catch potential issues before they become serious problems. During an inspection, the plumber will:

  • Check the anode rod, which prevents tank corrosion.
  • Inspect for leaks and signs of rust.
  • Test the thermostat and heating element.
  • Ensure the pressure relief valve is functioning correctly.

Flushing the Tank

Over time, sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank, reducing efficiency and potentially damaging the unit. Flushing the tank annually helps remove these sediments. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Turn off the Power and Water Supply: For electric heaters, switch off the breaker; for gas heaters, turn the gas valve to the pilot position.
  2. Connect a Hose to the Drain Valve: Place the other end of the hose in a floor drain or outside.
  3. Open the Drain Valve: Allow the tank to empty completely.
  4. Flush with Cold Water: Once drained, open the cold water supply to flush out any remaining sediment.
  5. Close the Valves and Refill: Close the drain valve, remove the hose, and turn the water supply back on. Once the tank is full, restore power or gas.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a critical component that attracts corrosive elements in the water, protecting the tank from rusting. Checking and replacing the anode rod every few years can significantly extend the life of your water heater.

Steps to Check the Anode Rod

  1. Turn off the Water and Power Supply: Ensure safety by cutting off the water supply and turning off the power or gas.
  2. Locate the Anode Rod: It is usually at the top of the tank.
  3. Remove the Anode Rod: Use a wrench to unscrew it.
  4. Inspect the Rod: If it’s heavily corroded or less than 1/2 inch thick, replace it.
  5. Install the New Rod: Screw it in tightly and restore the water and power supply.

Maintain the Temperature Setting

For optimal performance and safety, set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is hot enough to meet most household needs while minimizing the risk of scalding and saving on energy costs.

Adjusting the Thermostat

  1. Turn off the Power: Ensure the water heater is off.
  2. Locate the Thermostat: It’s usually behind an access panel on electric heaters.
  3. Adjust the Temperature: Use a flathead screwdriver to set the dial to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Replace the Cover and Turn on the Power: Once adjusted, replace the access panel and restore power.

Insulate the Tank and Pipes

Insulating your water heater tank and pipes can improve efficiency by reducing heat loss. This is particularly beneficial during Calgary’s cold winters.

Steps to Insulate

  1. Purchase Insulation: Use a water heater insulation blanket and pipe insulation.
  2. Cut the Blanket to Size: Ensure it fits around the tank without obstructing controls and valves.
  3. Wrap the Tank: Secure the blanket with tape.
  4. Insulate the Pipes: Use pipe insulation on the hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve prevents excessive pressure buildup in the tank, which could cause it to explode. Regularly testing this valve ensures it operates correctly.

Testing Procedure

  1. Lift the Valve Lever: Lift it partway, allowing some water to escape.
  2. Let it Snap Back: If the water continues to flow after releasing, the valve needs to be replaced.
  3. Replace if Necessary: If the valve is faulty, consult a professional plumber for replacement.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

While many maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners, some require professional expertise. Scheduling regular maintenance with a reputable plumbing service like What The Flush Plumbing Services ensures your water heater is in top condition.

Benefits of Professional Maintenance

  • Expert Inspection: Professionals can identify and fix issues that might be overlooked.
  • Safety Assurance: Ensures all components are working safely and efficiently.
  • Extended Lifespan: Regular professional maintenance can extend the life of your water heater.

Conclusion

Regular maintenance of your water heater is crucial for efficient performance and longevity, especially in Calgary’s demanding climate. By following these tips, you can ensure your water heater operates smoothly, providing reliable hot water throughout the year. For comprehensive care, consider scheduling a professional inspection and maintenance with Calgary best plumbers at What The Flush Plumbing Services.