Broussard Services

Top Water Heater Maintenance Tips

As a homeowner, there are many tasks to take care of to keep everything running smoothly. One is the maintenance of your hot water heater; it's essential to extend the lifespan of your unit and prevent costly repairs down the line. Don't know where to start? Here are some tips and further details from technicians and professionals.

Why Is Hot Water Heater Maintenance Important?

Water heater maintenance is essential for several reasons. First, it helps to keep your water heater operating efficiently. Second, it can help extend the life span of your water heater. Third, it can proactively prevent costly repairs down the road.

How Often to Maintain a Hot Water Heater

Keeping your water heater in good working order is crucial to the comfort of your house. Whether or not you have a tankless water heater, the quality of your water, and how often you use hot water will affect how often you'll need to perform maintenance on your water heater. No matter what type of water heater you have, inspect it at least once a year.  

What Tools are Needed to Maintain a Hot Water Heater?

If you have a hot water heater, it's essential to know what tools are needed to maintain it. 

  1. To determine the temperature of your water heater, and to monitor it until it is ideal, use a thermometer. 
  2. A drain pan is required to catch any water leaks from the water heater.
  3. A garden hose to flush out your water heater and remove any sediment that has collected at the bottom of the tank.
  4. Finally, you'll need a couple of miscellaneous tools: a screwdriver and adjustable wrench.

In the case that you're hearing noises or smell a strange odor coming from the appliance, you may be due for a new water heater installation or water heater repair which will, inevitable, require further tools.

Parts to Maintain On a Water Heater

Water heaters provide you and your family with hot water vital for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Be proactive to keep your water heater in good working order by following these suggestions to avoid future emergency water heater services:

Check the Temperature

The ideal temperature is between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If your unit isn't within range, a simple adjustment on the water heater's thermostat should do the trick.

Flush the Tank

Over time, sediment builds up in the bottom of a water heater's tank. If this happens, you may face heating and cooling problems. To prevent this, flush out your water heater tank every few months to remove any sediment buildup and allow it to drain.

Replace the Anode Rod

The anode rod helps protect your water heater system from corrosion. Over time, it will naturally experience deterioration and need replacing. Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to replace your specific model’s anode rod and the signs that tell you replacement is necessary.

Inspect the Gas Connections

If you have a gas-powered versus electric water heater, it is crucial to inspect the gas connections regularly for leaks or other damage and confirm the pilot light is properly lit. If you notice any problems, call one of our licensed plumbers to fix them before using your water heater again.

Drain and Flush the Heater

It's good practice to drain the tank annually to eliminate sediment that can accumulate, making things work harder than they need to. First, turn off the water heater's electricity or gas supply valve. Then, connect a garden hose to the tank's drain valve and put it in the open position. Open the valve and remove the hose after letting the water run until it becomes clear.

Flushing a water heater is quick and easy; it only takes a few minutes. The most crucial thing to remember is to always be extremely cautious when working with water and electricity together.

  1. Turn off the water heater's electricity by flipping the switch on the breaker box or unplugging the appliance's power supply.
  2. Next, open the cold water inlet valve at the top of the unit and let several gallons of cold water flow through it until the water coming out of the valve is clear.
  3. Connect a garden hose to the system and let all of the water inside drain out. Be sure to position a bucket under the hose before you open up the valve so you don't flood your home!
  4. Once the water has drained, close both valves and turn the power back on. Allow it to fill with fresh, cold water, before running hot water through your faucets until it reaches temperature. Start to finish, this process only takes a handful of minutes.

Clean the Anode Rod

The Anode rod protects the inside of your tank from corrosion. Over time, the anode rod can become corroded, and when this happens, it needs to be replaced. By following these steps, you can easily clear the water heater's anode rod: 

  1. Turn off your water heater and allow it to cool completely.
  2. Drain the tank completely using the drain valve at the bottom of the unit.
  3. Use a wrench to remove the anode rod from the tank. If it's been there for a while, you might need to use a little force!
  4. Scrub the anode rod with a wire brush to remove any buildup of corrosion. You can also soak the rod in vinegar for 30 minutes to make for easier removal.
  5. Rinse off the anode rod with clean water and reinstall it. Be sure to hand-tighten only; over-tightening can damage the threads on the rod or even leave it broken entirely.
  6. Restart your water heater and give it time to fully refill before using.

Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

Power off before checking the T&P valve. Then, open the valve to release any built-up pressure. Close the valve and turn on the power to your water heater. Next, use a thermometer to check the water temperature at the faucet closest to your water heater. 

The ideal temperature for water heaters is between 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If it exceeds 140 degrees, you must adjust the thermostat on your water heater. Finally, check the pressure relief valve by opening and closing it several times. Any hissing sound or dripping indicates that the valve is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.

What Happens if a Hot Water Heater Is Not Maintained?

Several issues can arise without proper maintenance. Most commonly, the heater will rust and corrode over time. This can cause leakage and if ignored, can cause extensive damage to the home. Even worse, a neglected water heater, especially those in commercial and industrial settings, can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

With proper maintenance, your water heater will provide years of trouble-free operation. If you are afraid of doing it all by yourself take assistance from a licensed technician. Considering taking help from experts in Nashville, TN? Broussard Services is just one call away! 

Broussard Services is a certified full-service plumbing company and HVAC repair, replacement, and service company located in Nashville, TN area. With a dedicated team, our business is committed to serving our customers and homeowners well for all their needs from air conditioning, plumbing services, water pipes, drains, and more.

Get a free consultation and estimated cost for your water heater maintenance, along with other types of jobs, today!

Broussard Services

Mississippi Location
14405 Cullen St
Biloxi, MS 39532

Tennessee  Location
117 Lemuel Rd.
Nashville, TN 37207
Ph: 615-988-6030


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