Water Heater Maintenance
As with most things that run, a little maintenance usually goes a long way. It is no different with your water heater. Keeping up on your water heater’s maintenance is an essential part of getting the most out of it. Luckily, water heater maintenance is fairly simple. Even better, is that if you don't feel like worrying about maintaining your water heater self, we have a team of pros ready to tackle the task for you.
As with most items requiring maintenance, the maintenance tasks and schedules vary slightly depending on which model and which type of water heater you have. For example, all newer water heaters come standard with insulation to keep the heat inside the water from dissipating out into the air around the tank. One simple form of maintenance for an older water heater that has no insulation would be to put a layer of insulation around the tank, being sure to stay only along the sides and to avoid the flu and the opening for the pilot light. By keeping the water hotter for longer, it lessens the where in tear on all components of the water heater.
By far the most important form of maintenance that needs to be done for any type of water heater which has a tank is to regularly check the anode rod, and replace it when necessary. The anode rod exists to protect the inner lining of your tank and is designed to corrode away in a controlled manner instead of your tank corroding and eventually leaking or even exploding. Every 2 to 5 years you should either have the rod checked by a professional, or check it yourself. The road should be replaced if more than 6 inches of the steel core is exposed, or the entire rod itself is less than 1/2 inch thick. The rod should also be replaced if it has a lot of scale or buildup on it, because it prevents it from making correct contact and working properly. There are actually different types of anode rods used for the different levels of hardness and pH of your home’s water. This can be a one stop quick visit for any of our technicians, who have anode rods of each type stocked on our trucks ready to quickly install.
Another form of maintenance that should be done regularly to any water heater that has a tank is to clean the sediment that tends to gather at the bottom. This can be done by shutting off the cold water flow to your heater, attaching a hose to the drain outlet at the bottom, and opening the valve so that water drains into a bucket. Usually you'll want to drain about 1/4 of the tank, but you’ll want to let it drain until the water runs clear. Depending on the level of sediment your home experiences, you may have to open the cold water valve back up and let your tank refill to stir up any remaining sediment and repeat the process until the water in the bucket is clear. If you are apprehensive about doing this or just don't want to mess with it, St. Charles Water Heaters is happy to take care of this task for you. We specialize in everything water heater related, and maintenance is no exception. We love what we do, and the peace of mind it provides your household knowing their water heaters are in good hands. Give us a call today!
On demand water heaters, otherwise known as tankless heaters, also require regular maintenance. Even though they do not have a tank that stores water to corrode, the pipes that run through the heating element build up with scale that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Failure to perform this maintenance will result in build up getting out of hand, and causing your tankless water heater to work harder than it should, ultimately shortening the lifespan of your water heater. The timeframe of maintenance on an on-demand water heater varies depending on how hard the water is that flows into it. Homes with extremely hard water should have their tankless water heater service every six months, otherwise regular maintenance should be performed every 12 months. It is best to have a professional perform maintenance on these types of heaters because it is a little more technical than maintenance that is done on a regular water heater which has a tank. Our water heater pros can take a look at your tankless water heater and quickly determine the extent of maintenance that should be performed, while informing you so that you are aware and have a better idea of future maintenance schedules.