How To Properly Maintain Your Water Heater

How To Properly Maintain Your Water Heater

As a homeowner, you know that your water heater is a vital part of your home. It provides hot water for your showers, washing machines, and dishwashers, making your everyday life more comfortable and convenient.

However, despite its importance, many people neglect proper maintenance of their water heaters, leading to costly repairs and replacements.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly maintain your water heater to keep it running efficiently and extend its lifespan.


Check the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve is a crucial safety feature of your water heater. It prevents the pressure inside the tank from building up too high, which can cause explosions or other dangerous situations. To ensure that your pressure relief valve is working correctly, you should test it periodically.

To test the pressure relief valve:

  • Turn off the power supply to the water heater.
  • Locate the pressure relief valve on the top or side of the tank.
  • Place a bucket under the valve to catch any water that may discharge during the test.
  • Pull up the valve’s tab to release some water.
  • If the water flows freely and stops when you release the tab, the valve is working correctly.
  • If the water continues to flow or the valve does not release any water, you should replace the valve immediately.

Testing your pressure relief valve every six months is recommended to ensure that it is working correctly. If you notice any leaks or problems with the valve, contact a professional plumber to replace it.

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Drain and Flush the Tank

Sediment buildup is a common issue in water heaters. Over time, minerals and other debris can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, reducing the unit’s efficiency and potentially causing damage. To prevent sediment buildup, you should drain and flush your water heater once a year.

To drain and flush your water heater:

  1. Turn off the power supply to the water heater.
  2. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
  3. Open a hot water faucet in your home to allow air into the system.
  4. Open the drain valve and let the tank empty completely.
  5. Close the drain valve and remove the hose.
  6. Turn on the cold water supply to the tank to flush out any remaining sediment.
  7. Once the water runs clear, close the hot water faucet you opened earlier.
  8. Turn on the power supply to the water heater.

Draining and flushing your water heater will not only prevent sediment buildup but also improve the unit’s efficiency and extend its lifespan.

Inspect the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a metal rod inside the water heater that attracts corrosive elements in the water, preventing them from damaging the tank. Over time, the anode rod will deteriorate and need to be replaced.

To inspect the anode rod:

  1. Turn off the power supply to the water heater.
  2. Locate the anode rod on the top of the tank.
  3. Inspect the rod for any signs of corrosion or wear.
  4. If the rod is less than 1/2 inch thick or more than 6 inches of the core steel wire is visible, it should be replaced.
  5. Replace the anode rod with a new one of the same size and material.

Inspecting and replacing the anode rod can significantly extend the lifespan of your water heater by preventing corrosion and damage to the tank.


Maintaining your water heater is essential to ensure its efficiency and longevity. By following these simple steps, you can prevent costly repairs and replacements and keep your home’s hot water supply running smoothly. 

Remember to test the pressure relief valve, drain and flush the tank, and inspect the anode rod regularly. If you need help with any of these tasks or notice any issues with your water heater, contact a professional plumber to assist you.

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