How To Water Heater Maintenance

Regular water heater maintenance will prevent future problems, save energy and extend the life of your water heater.

Sediment build up in your water heater may cause clogged water lines, and faucets resulting in low hot water pressure.

Other problems associated with excessive sediment are slower recovery rates (increase energy bills), glass liner in tank cracking (especially gas water heaters), shorter water heater life and bacteria growth.

Recommended maintenance schedule

Test pressure/temperature relief valve once a year.
Flush water heater every 4 months.
Clean water heater once a year.
Replace anode rod every 2-5 years.
Gas water heater - check/clean burner every year.

Pressure relief valve

pressure relief valve

The pressure/temperature relief valve will keep you safe if something malfunctions and the water heater gets to hot or builds up to much pressure.

Test the relief valve at least once a year to be sure its working properly.

Raise the lever on the relief valve, you should hear water rushing out of the drain line. If you do the valve is working properly.
Gently lower the lever to close the valve. Letting the lever snap closed may damage the relief valve.

If the relief valve is not working replace it as soon as possible.

If you need help replacing a relief valve or if you would just like to learn more go to the water heater relief valve page.

Drain, Flush And Clean A Water Heater


drain water heater

The first step in removing sediment from a water heater is to drain the tank.

If you need help check out the drain water heater page.

Its a step by step guide with how to pictures.


flush hot water heater

Flush all the sediment possible out of the water heater using water pressure.
Follow the instructions on the
flush hot water heater page if you've never flushed a water heater.


cleaning hot water heater

Most of the sediment in a water heater will settle in the bottom of the tank.

If you prefer not to use chemicals, cleaning the tank with a coil brush is the best way to go.
Cleaning hot water heater guide.

After flushing and cleaning a water heater fill it with water and let it set 1 hour before running any water or turning it on. This will allow any calcium deposits or sediment that was missed to settle to the bottom and not clog your plumbing or faucets.

Anode Rod

The anode rod should be replaced before it deteriorates completely. This will depend on the type of water you have.
Check the anode after 2 years and every year after that until it need replacing.
How to guide coming soon.

Gas water heater maintenance

Gas water heater maintenance

Check and/or clean the water heater burner every year.

Rust falling off of the bottom of the tank can clogged the burner and cause blow-back or roll out (flames rolling out of the access opening when the burner fires).

If you see burn marks on the outside of the water heater just above the access opening the burner probably needs cleaning.

If you need help removing the burner scroll down the water heater thermocouple page.

You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the burner or it can be washed in water. Let it dry completely before reinstalling it.

When preforming water heater maintenance always think safety first.

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