How to Prevent a Broken Water Heater

It can be incredibly frustrating (and painfully cold!) to step into a shower only to notice there isn’t any hot water coming out of the showerhead. To help prevent this problem, keep up with maintenance for your tank hot water heater.

It is recommended that you have your tank water heater drained once or twice each year. Doing so helps to flush out sediment which may collect in the bottom of the tank. Failure to clean out the sediment only means that more and more will collect, effecting how much hot water your tank will be able to store.

Water heater flush

Draining and flushing your tank water heater can often actually be performed by the average homeowner. Close the cold water inlet valve on the top of the water heater and attach the hose to the drain valve. Open the drain, and drain out a gallon or two to flush loose sediment off the bottom of the tank. Close the drain, remove the hose and open the fill valve on top of the water heater. Don’t start doing this to an older water heater with a plastic drain valve that has never been flushed. You may break off the plastic valve, as they get brittle from age and heat. If the relief valve starts leaking, call a plumber. We also have service plans to cover repairs to this item.

No hot water?

There are several possible causes. If you have natural gas, check to see if the pilot is lit. If it is out, you might need a new thermocouple to keep the pilot on. Also, newer sealed combustion water heaters have a fine screen on the bottom that needs periodic cleaning. The thermostat on the gas valve controls the water temperature, and 120 degrees is the recommended setting.

If your water heater is electric, check your circuit breaker.

Water heaters last an average of about 10 years, but can vary greatly with use and water quality. With the right maintenance, you and your family should be able to enjoy hot water from your water heater for many years. Always remember that if you don’t feel comfortable diagnosing or trying to fix a problem with your water heater, you can call in a professional!