Water Heater Maintenance for Efficiency and Savings

Proper maintenance of your water heater can optimize its energy efficiency and make it work perfectly for a decade or two. The three major aspects of water heater maintenance are initial thermostat setting, regular maintenance and knowing the softness of incoming water. Read on to know more about water heater maintenance:

1. Initial thermostat setting

The daily rituals of bathing, washing dishes, washing clothes do not need superheated water.  Adjusting the thermostats properly can save you money.

maintenance of water heater

Most water heater manufacturers suggest thermostat setting on your water heater to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51 C). This temperature by itself is enough to cause injury to your skin. Besides, when you run your bath water, you will bend in the amount of cold to make the output “just right”. So why would you raise the temperature if you are cooling it off?

Your water heater is one of if not the highest consumer of electricity in your home.  Best to set to the manufactures recommend level.

It’s the same theory for both gas-fueled and tankless. Why raise something if you are going to cool it off….

Conclusion:  take the time to verify that your unit’s thermostat is not overworking. Go for the 125 degrees F.  Save the money

I met one plumber that said he did not run hot water to his dishwasher.  He said the machine heated the water itself.

2. Regular Maintenance

Your manufacturer manual most likely suggests periodic inspection and/or maintenance. You can do this, or you can have a water heater plumbing contractor perform this. Every six months for mine. It’s not that big of a deal to do it.

Stop right here:  Turn off the electrical breaker before touching any electrical wiring.   Close the valve to your gas supply. No casual handling here.

Your unit, if it is a tank type, will have both heating elements and an anode rod.

Hard water allows the accumulation of lime or scale on the element. The speed of this process depends on the level of hardness of your water.

The submerged anode rod is sacrificial. It is added to attract water ions that would otherwise damage your tank.  The anode rod requires replacing every year or two.  A water heater contractor can be a good choice in this matter. It’s not that hard, but it is a process. Your elements are replaceable.  Cleaning them takes time and a little creativity. Go ahead and replace them.

Suggestion: tape a gallon size zip lock bag to your water heater tank. This is where you keep your manual and completed (dated) maintenance schedule.

3. Understanding the “softness” of water

Hard water causes heating elements to foul quicker.  When the elements begin “hissing”, it is a sign they are being fouled by being covered with lime.  They continue to heat, but not as efficiently.  Their ability to heat water will gradually diminish. Don’t wait for the “hissing” sound, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.

disadvantages of hard water

Your manual states that using a water softener may cause the anode rod to deteriorate quicker.  You may enjoy the soft water, but your water heater will need more attention.

Conclusion

  • Save your money by managing your thermostat setting.
  • Regular maintenance and attention will protect your heater and extend its lifecycle.
  • Knowing the softness of your incoming water will help manage your maintenance schedule.
  • All this will extend your family budget.
  • For more information about your water heater reach out to your local plumbing company

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.
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