Does Your Water Heater Need Preventative Maintenance?

Shelby Kearns
By Shelby Kearns  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   February 9, 2024
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It’s a good idea to have a plumber or HVAC tech do a tune-up every couple of years to ensure things are working as intended, but there are two easy things homeowners can do to ensure their water heater keeps running as best it can.

1. Drain and flush the tank. This should be done once a year. If you have an older water heater and it’s never been flushed, don’t try to do anything yourself just yet. Have a plumber or an HVAC technician take a look at it first. If there is a lot of sediment and corrosion, you might be doing more damage by opening things up.

2. Test the pressure-relief valve. You can test this once a month or once every couple of months. This valve keeps your water heater from building pressure if things get too hot. There is a little lever on the valve. Lift it up, and water should come out. If water comes out, the valve is working. If nothing happens, the valve is faulty and needs to be replaced.

***If you have a problem with hard water, you can flush small amounts of water from the bottom of the tank every few months. To do this, just place a bucket below the drain valve and open the valve to let out the sediment that has settled to the bottom. Let the water out until it runs clear, but be careful. The water will be HOT!

Originally this answer was posted by us on Quora.

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