Birmingham Home Inspectors Blog

Water Heater Maintenance
September 26th, 2017 2:41 PM

Water Heater Maintenance

It will always ruin your morning when you wake up and turn the shower on and the hot water is not working. Instead of getting to go about your day, you now have to stop and troubleshoot why there is not hot water and ultimately may have to spend hard earned dollars on calling a plumber. 

There are things you can do however, that can extend the life of your water heater and make it more efficient.   

The most important thing you can do is check the water heater relief valve. If you see this water heater valve leaking, you need to contact a plumber immediately to see the cause of the problem. This can sometimes be caused by a build up of pressure in the water heater which can result in the water heater exploding.  It is recommended by water heater manufacturer, Rheem, that at least once a year you should flush a few gallons of water through the hot water release valve to ensure that this valve continues to operate freely.

Another thing you can do to benefit your hot water heater is to keep it clean! You can consult your water heater manual for cleaning instructions. If, like most of our clients, you have purchased your house with an existing water heater you can try to remove roughly 30-35 ounces of water every month. Removing this water allows some of the minerals that build up in the water heater to drain out. By removing this build up of sediment it can increase the efficiency of the water heater and help you get the industry expected life span of 8 to 12 years out of the water heater. 

Sometimes during home inspections in the Birmingham area we find that an electric water heater has an unusual odor; one of the ways that you can try to remedy this is to drain the water heater, disconnect the power source and then flush a few gallons of chlorine through it. 

In addition to these tips, Rheem suggests to remove the anode rod once a year for inspection. Here, you want to check that there is no more than 6" of core wire showing on either end of the rod. If there is that amount or more of wiring noted than it is time to replace the rod. 

These are just some of the things that we have learned on the job from doing home inspections in Birmingham. As always, if you need a home inspector in Birmingham give us a call!

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Posted by on September 26th, 2017 2:41 PMPost a Comment

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