5 Important Water Heater Maintenance Steps You Might Have Missed

We all do a little bit better with some love and attention—and your water heater is no different! Water heaters perform a lot better with regular maintenance, but there may be some steps you’ve been overlooking. For instance, did you know you can reduce corrosion in your pipes just by turning the water temperature down a few degrees? For more information on that—and other money-saving water heater projects—keep reading below!

Turn the Water Temperature Down

Accidentally scalded yourself in the shower? You may need to adjust the temperature on your hot water heater! Most manufacturers set the default temperature on their products to 140 degrees—which is way hotter than it needs to be. The Department of Energy says a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit is safe to use in your home and can knock up to $400 off your annual energy bills. And it will extend the lifespan of your water pipes, as well. Learn how to adjust yours with this video from the Department of Energy.

Give Your Water Heater Some Space

Water heaters prefer their personal space—it’s one of their most relatable qualities, actually. But tucked away in your basement or utility room, it’s easy to accidentally pile all kinds of clutter up around them. Unfortunately, that’s a potential fire hazard. And it can reduce gas-powered heater’s efficiency, too, by reducing the flow of oxygen. Not to mention, you’re a lot less likely to catch a leak in time. So take a moment to clear out the junk around yours today.

Test the T&P Valve

The temperature and pressure, or T&P valve, is one of the most important parts of your unit. The reason? This valve is a critical safety feature that senses built-up pressure and opens to slowly let it out. That function can help you avoid a water heater explosion, so it’s a pretty important little valve. That’s why manufacturers recommend testing the T&P valve once a year. Find out how to do it here, with this video from RotoRooter.

Drain the Tank at Least Once a Year

Another important spot to familiarize yourself with is the drain valve. Once a year, locate the valve and drain a few gallons out into a bucket. Check the water that you drain—if it’s dark or full of sediment, you may need a full flush, which you can learn how to do here, courtesy of Rheem. Otherwise, you should be all set for another year!

Add Insulation

Want to really improve your water heater’s performance? Consider getting it insulated. Adding an insulating blanket to the hot water tank can save you between 7%-16% annually on your energy bills, and it’s not too difficult to do—this video from the DOE will teach you how. For extra savings, consider adding foam insulation to the hot water pipes as well.

And that’s all you need to keep yourself in hot water for another year!

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