Your water heater is most likely the most crucial portion of your properties plumbing technique. A appropriately maintained heater can final from ten to fifteen years or additional. But, a heater not adequately maintained can fail in four to six years. The situation of the drinking water in your location and the place of the heater in your property are out of your manage, but right upkeep of the heater and your plumbing technique is crucial to heater longevity and safety.
This post offers you a list of products to check for each tank type and tankless water heaters. As you go through the actions in checking your heater, if you have the slightest doubt in your capacity, get a experienced, licensed plumber involved! You are dealing with hot water, natural gas, and electricity!
Tank Form Water Heater Maintenance:
Vent (Gas Water Heaters Only)
The vent need to be the identical diameter as the draft diverter on the heater tank.
The vent must go usually “up and out” the ceiling.
Exactly where is passes by means of the exterior wall, the vent really should be double-walled.
Vent sections need to be screwed collectively with a minimum 3 screws per section.
Note: Poor vent pipe connections can fall apart and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, the silent and deadly gas!
Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve (T&P Valve)The T&P valve is developed to avoid the heater from exploding if the water pressure or temperature exceeds secure limits.
Pull up the deal with on the valve and water ought to flow out and stop when you let go of the handle.
The T&P valve has a drain line that need to go down to about six” from the floor or be plumbed outdoors your property.
Note: Water leaking out of a T&P drain line can signal a terrible T&P valve, high water stress, or a malfunctioning thermal expansion device.
yoursite.com (All Water Heaters)
Water pressure over 80 pounds per square inch (psi) can damage heaters and your piping. It can also harm plumbing appliances, toilets, and your fixtures.
Note: One particular giveaway that your have higher water pressure is when the T&P Valve on the heater begins opening and closing.
Outer Water Heater Metal Shell & Plumbing Fittings
Inspect the heater outer sheet metal shell for leaks or rusting.
Inspect the plumbing fittings on the heater for corrosion, rust, or water spotting.
Note: Rusty fittings or discolored shell is a telltale sign that a leak is present!
Inspect the heater temperature manage dial to insure its set at the right water temperature.
The ideal water temperature is 120° Fahrenheit.
Note: Anything above 120° Fahrenheit tremendously increases scalding risk, energy use, and sediment build-up in the bottom of the heater!
Combustion Chamber (Gas Water Heaters)
Turn the gas valve control to “pilot position”.
Eliminate the outer access hatch or cover on the side of the heater.
Inspect the roof of the chamber for heavy rusting, water marking, or pitting.
Return the gas valve manage back to the “on position”.
Note: Black soot in the combustion chamber indicates drafting troubles, combustion issues, fume issues, and a fire hazard!
Pedestal Base (Gas Water Heaters)
Make confident the pedestal base the heater rests on is stable and supports the unit.
The typical pedestal will keep the bottom of the heater at least 18″ off the floor.
Note: A newer water heater may perhaps have a “filtered combustion chamber” that is supposed to resolve the have to have for a pedestal. Check the owner’s manual for your heater.
Open the drain valve to insure that mineral sediment, anode sludge, or rust has not clogged your heaters drain.
Drain Overflow Pan
If your heater is on the 2nd floor above living space it need to have a drain pan.
The drain pan should be plumbed to the outdoors of your dwelling.
Inspect the condition of the drain pan, fittings, and piping to the outside.
Corrosive Fumes (Gas Water Heaters & Tankless Water Heaters)
Water heaters draw air in for combustion and the quality of the air is vital.
Corrosive liquids, ammonia, or acids stored close to a heater can lead to corrosive air.
Note: Corrosive air drawn into the burner can prematurely corrode the heater.
Internal Tank Corrosion and Rust-The internal tank of your heater is constructed of steel and glass lined to avoid rust. Sacrificial anode rods are installed in the tank to shield the glass lined internal steel tank from rust. Aluminum/Zinc or magnesium anode rods corrode over time and get utilized up via an electrolytic approach.
Note: Replacing the anode rod can extend the life of the heater but, should be carried out by a educated, expert service technician.
Sediment Make-up-Sediment is made when challenging water is heated. The make-up of sediment in the bottom of the tank can trigger the bottom to overheat and melt away the glass lining of the tank. It can drift into recirculating lines, jam open verify valves, and trigger the recirculating pump to stick until it burns out. Sediment make-up on the bottom of gas water heaters encourages noisy operation. The noise is triggered by little amounts of water beneath the sediment layer turning into steam bubbles, which then collapse violently.
Note: Sediment construct-up can lessen the power efficiency of the heater and void the warranty on some Residential Water Heaters!
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance:
Flushing-Most tankless water heater producers recommend flushing the entire unit every six months to 1 year based upon the water excellent. Reference your manufactures recommendation for flushing. Flushing the unit routinely removes any mineral deposits (typically calcium or lime) that could have built up inside the boilers. Manufacturers advise utilizing a utility pump to circulate 3 or four gallons of vinegar or a different low-grade acid for 45 minutes to clean out any deposits.