Essential Water Heater Maintenance Tips

How Can I Maintain My Home’s Water Heater?

Often found in many homes across the country, there’s a chance that you have a storage-tank water heater in your humble abode. And while this is the most popular (and familiar) choice that many homeowners go for when having a water heater installed, there’s also a fair amount of maintenance that must be completed to keep it in working order.

If you’re the owner of a storage-tank water heater, here are some helpful maintenance tips to jot down and have performed in your home.

Ways to Maintain a Storage-Tank Water Heater

Flush it Once a Year

As it's known, your water heater plays a vital role in your everyday life — it helps supply toasty, warm water throughout your home. When the water is being heated, calcium and other minerals found in your H2O will leave sediment behind — which forms at the bottom of the tank.

Sediment buildup can make it much more difficult for the heating element to do its job and fulfill your hot water request. Therefore, your storage-tank water heater must be flushed at least once a year — preferably by a professional — to help remove sediment and restore efficiency to your water heater.

Another thing to keep in mind: If you have hard water present in your home, you may want to consider having your water heater flushed at least twice a year. Since hard water is jam-packed with even more minerals and calcium deposits than soft water, it can take an immense toll on your water heater.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

When you have a water heater, just like an HVAC system, you must schedule maintenance appointments annually. These service calls are vital to your water heater's well-being and will help it perform up to its fullest potential — rather than a lag in performance and “retire” unexpectedly.

During a water heater maintenance appointment with a professional, they’ll examine your unit from top to bottom, ensuring that the tank does not have any visible signs of rust, that the anode rod is in working order, and that the pilot light is fully functioning with the correct hue (it should always be blue — but if it’s orange or yellow, that can indicate a potential problem) to name a few items on their checklist.

Don’t Delay Repairs

Sometimes, your water heater might break down at the most inconvenient time (i.e., when you’re about to head to work). And while it may seem like an easy, simple solution to put off a repair appointment for another day, you should never do so — since doing such can lead to a potentially dangerous situation.

Some signs that indicate your storage-tank water heater requires repair include:

  • Hot water runs out quicker than usual

  • Your energy bills have increased without a visible reason

  • The water heater makes strange sounds when in use

Catching any of these signs early on can not only prevent a plumbing nightmare but having them repaired early on can help extend your water heater’s lifespan and factor out needing to replace it altogether.

Keep an Eye Out for Visible Rust

Unfortunately, there comes a time in every storage-tank water heater’s life where rust might appear on the outer shell unexpectedly. And while some homeowners might think that this is normal — that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As it turns out, the anode rod within a water heater helps to protect your unit's inner lining so that water does not rust it. However, if an anode rod needs to be replaced and is not, or if there’s another internal issue, water can begin to deteriorate the liner — which will result in rust.

Rust is not something that should be taken lightly: You’ll have to replace your entire water heater before the rust creates an opening for H2O to seep out and cause a leak — which could result in a potential flood. Therefore, make a conscious effort to examine your water heater every so often and look for any rust or corrosion on the surface.

Water Heater Services in Central Oregon

Ponderosa Heating & Cooling offers a variety of water heater services, including system installations, repairs, and maintenance services. To schedule your appointment, give us a call at (541) 204-2775!


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