Water heaters in Portland OR typically last a decade. However, with proper maintenance, you can extend their useful life and ensure they are operating at maximum efficiency. Keep reading to learn the six most important maintenance tasks you can perform on your water heater.
Crucial Maintenance for Water Heaters in Portland OR
Test the Pressure-Relief Valve
The pressure-relief valve is your water heater’s built-in safety check. When the pressure within your tank gets too high, it releases excess pressure automatically to prevent an explosion.
To test this valve, lift the lever which can be found on the side or top of the water heater. If, when you lift the lever, no water exits the discharge pipe, you need to have the valve replaced.
Flush the Tank
Your water heater tank should be flushed every six months, or at least annually. Drain a few gallons of water from your tank into a bucket and inspect it. If you find the water to be full of debris and dirt, the water heater must be cleaned thoroughly and completely.
The build-up of debris significantly reduces the efficiency of your water heater. This will increase your power bill and will also probably increase your water bill. If it is time for you to replace your water heater, look into a self-cleaning water heater which removes sediment automatically. However, you will still need to flush and clean your tank approximately every three years.
Inspect the Anode Rod
The anode rod is a metal piece that is installed in your water heater to keep the tank from rusting. It attracts all of the corrosion before it can reach the steel within the tank. Unfortunately, once the anode rod is eroded completely, the steel tank will begin to rust and sustain irreversible damage. Such damage includes tainting your water supply and irreparable cracks and leaks.
Check your anode rod annually when you flush your tank. If it is almost completely corroded, replace it with a new one. You can expect the average anode rod to last between three to five years. If your water heater allows you to install a second anode rod, this is ideal. It will extend the useful life of your water heater by further mitigating the risk of irreversible corrosion damage.
Inspect Gas Lines
Your water heater is probably attached to gas lines. If this is the case, you need to inspect these. If these pipes have sustained any cracks or corrosion, they will need to be repaired immediately. If you suspect a gas leak, take safety precautions like installing a carbon monoxide detector, calling your utility company and avoiding smoking, open flames, trying to locate the leak and turning on any electrical appliances.
Install a Water Softener
Fortunately, most of the water in Portland is very soft. However, water from some sources is moderately hard. If your water has a high content of minerals, install a water softener. This decreases the mineral deposits left at the bottom of the water heater tank. As a result, the efficiency of your water heater is increased, your utility bills will be lower and your water heater will require less maintenance in the future.
Add an Expansion Tank
As water heats, it expands rapidly. If there is nowhere for this rapidly expanding water to go, enormous stress is put on your water heater. An expansion tank provides your water with an outlet and reduces wear and tear on your water heater.
Contact ProPlumb NW Today
To learn more about how to ensure the maximum efficiency of water heaters in Portland OR and extend their useful life, call us today at (503) 964-1733. Alternatively, you can send us a message and we will get back to you very shortly. For more information on how we can help you, check out our Services page.