Hot Water Tank Maintenance:
The hot water tank is one of the most neglected appliances in the house, even though it serves an important function during winters. Therefore, it’s important to maintain your hot water tank on a periodic basis to extend its life and prevent any unforeseen circumstances.
Why is it Required?
The extent of the maintenance of a hot water tank depends upon the water hardness in your area; nevertheless, draining and flushing the tank are vital maintenance steps that are often taken. Water contains naturally occurring calcium which can, with time, settle at the bottom of the tank and prevent the transfer of heat from the heat source to the water.
The buildup of calcium is gritty and muddy and is also called sediment; when the sediment blocks the heat transfer, the tank works harder, trying to generate more heat which in turn weakens the tank’s floor. On the other hand, the periodic flushing of the tank helps prevent the accumulation of sediments.
How to Do it?
It might be so that you already have a leak in your home, but you aren’t aware of it. Therefore, carry out an inspection and thoroughly check for leaking pipes and faucets in the bathrooms, the utility room, and the kitchen. If you come across a leak, call John G Plumbing Inc. a qualified and trusted plumber for any general plumbing in Nanimo BC.
Before running a maintenance cycle on your hot water tank, you should wear some personal protective equipment such as eyewear and gloves. Remember you will be dealing with hot water and metal edges along with gas or electricity.
Draining the Tank
Here are the essential steps:
- If you have an electric hot water tank, switch off the circuit breaker; it will be usually marked. If you don’t, the heating element can be damaged. In case of a gas tank, shutoff the main gas valve and turn off the thermostat.
- After that, you need to shut off the cold water inlet valve.
- Let the water cool down overnight; remember that it is extremely hot and you don’t want to burn yourself.
- When the water is sufficiently cool, open the temperature and pressure relief valve to enable the water pressure to reduce. The water will also be released into the floor of the drain pan.
- Attach a hosepipe like a garden hose to the drain valve on the hot water tank and turn it on, letting the water drain. This will take around 20 to 30 minutes, so you have to be patient.
Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
This valve is used as a safety device in a hot water tank because it prevents the water from getting excessively hot or resulting in high pressures. With time, sediments can buildup in the valve inhibiting its ability to function properly.
To maintain it, the valve should be opened and closed a couple of times to ensure the flow of water. If it leaks or there’s no water flowing, the valve needs to be replaced.
How Often Should the Tank Be Drained?
This depends upon the water hardness in your vicinity. Most experts recommend that a hot water tank should be drained every four months or so, while others say every six months to a year is ideal.
If you are unsure on how to drain and maintain your hot water tank, it’s always a better idea to hire the services of a qualified plumbing company.
Your hot water tank older than 10 years ?
Generally, all water heaters older than 10 years should be considered for replacement.
We at John G Plumbing can offer you BIG SAVINGS if it is time to replace your hot water tank.
You can read more about tankless water heaters here.