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How To Properly Maintain Your Traditional Water Heater Tank

Our expert plumbers at Plumbing Today have put together a list of maintenance tasks for you to complete on your traditional water heater that will keep it running, save you money and help you avoid repairs.

Our expert plumbers at Plumbing Today have put together a list of maintenance tasks for you to complete on your traditional water heater that will keep it running, save you money and help you avoid repairs.

Lower the temperature to 115-120 degrees

We have found that many Sarasota area water heaters are set at 130 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. We recommend lowering the temperature setting to 115-120 degrees. Not only will this save you about 5% on your energy bills, but it will also keep your water heater from overheating and reduce the chance of someone in your home getting burned from scalding hot water.

Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket

Traditional water heaters heat and store your hot water in a tank. Even when you are not currently using hot water, the tank is kept at your set temperature so it will be ready when you need it. This leads to what is known as standby heat loss, or heat that is naturally lost from sitting unused.
 
You can reduce your traditional water heater’s standby heat loss by wrapping the tank in an insulating blanket. This will keep more of the heat in the tank, reducing your energy bills and extending the life of the water heater.

Inspect the T&P valve

As a safety mechanism, your traditional water heater has a temperature and pressure relief (T&P) valve, which keeps it from exploding by releasing any excess pressure that may build up. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your T&P valve in working order.
 
You can easily inspect the T&P valve by:

  • Carefully lift up on the T&P valve so it opens partway and then let it snap back into place.
  • You should hear a gurgling noise and notice some water being sent to the drain. 
  • If your water heater drains some water and stops, you have an operating T&P valve. 
  • If it does not drain water, or does not stop draining water, contact a professional to replace the valve.

Get an annual professional water heater tune-up

To keep your traditional water heater running safely and efficiently, you should get an annual tune-up from a professional plumber, as well. They will be able to inspect and clean the burner assembly, inspect and repair exhaust flue and check for leaks and corrosion, which is common in Sarasota area homes.
 
Hot water is a commodity we tend to take for granted until there is a problem. By following these simple traditional water heater maintenance tips, you can reduce your energy bills and ensure safe operation.
 
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