A water heater is easy to forget about—until it suddenly stops working. If you keep your water heater on a regular maintenance schedule, it will work better, use less energy and last longer.
Water heater problems. Over time, water heaters can build up sediment that damages the tank. You may want to consider draining your tank to remove the sediments that build up.
If you find that your tank's water has bits of metal or rust in it, call Home Improvement Services® immediately. These particles probably indicate the anode rod needs to be replaced. The anode rod attracts chemicals in the water and keeps them away from rusting away the tank liner.
Caution: Be sure to turn off the power at your circuit breaker or shut off the gas before making any kind of water heater inspection.
Insulate your water heater to save energy and money. Unless your water heater's storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45%. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs. If you don't know your water heater tank's R-value, touch it. A tank that's warm to the touch needs additional insulation.
Insulating your storage water heater tank is fairly simple and inexpensive, and it will pay for itself in about a year. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $10–$20. Choose one with an insulating value of at least R-8. Some utilities sell them at low prices, offer rebates, and even install them at a low or no cost.
Insulating an electric water heater. You can probably install an insulating pre-cut jacket or blanket on your electric water heater tank yourself. Read and follow the directions carefully. Leave the thermostat access panel(s) uncovered. Don't set the thermostat above 130ºF on electric water heater with an insulating jacket or blanket—the wiring may overheat.
Professional check-up. A service professional should conduct a thorough inspection of your water heater at least once a year. Home Improvement Services® makes it easy. Our home plumbing experts will drain your tank to remove any sediment (if recommended), inspect the tank and connections for rust, wear or corrosion, replace worn anode rods, check the pressure relief valve, and more.
Do you need a new water heater? The fast and friendly plumbers at Home Improvement Services® also install new water heaters, including high efficiency and tankless models. Also, learn more about the federal tax credits you could qualify for if you purchase a high-efficiency water heater.