Hot water is essential for showering, washing your dishes, and doing your laundry. A problem with your Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home’s water heater could waste energy, shorten its life, or cause expensive water damage. To avoid inconvenient breakdowns, use these easy maintenance tips.

Test the TPR Valve

The temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve opens when the temperature or pressure increases too much, preventing an explosion. To check this important part, raise and lower the test lever on top of your water heater. Hot water should rush out of the pipe below it. If no hot water comes out or you see only a trickle, have a professional replace the valve. You should test your TPR valve every six months.

Drain Your Water Heater Regularly

Sediments that collect near the bottom of the tank reduce its efficiency and cause rust and corrosion. Draining the tank once a year eliminates those sediments. You have to shut down the water heater to drain the tank completely, but you can perform a mini-flush while it’s running.

Put a bucket under the drain valve near the bottom of the tank. Some valves have a handle, and others have a slot for a screwdriver. Turn the valve counterclockwise to release a few gallons of water, and then close it again. If the water still has sediment or debris, empty the bucket and drain more.

Leave Some Space Around Your Water Heater

If you use the area around your water heater for storage, essential maintenance will be difficult, and you might not notice a leak until it becomes severe. Gas units need a good supply of oxygen for combustion. If your unit can’t get enough oxygen because of limited space, it will use more energy. You might also get carbon monoxide leaks and damage to many parts.

Custom Aire has over 45 years of water heater and HVAC experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair your water heater, air conditioner, or furnace. Just call us anytime at (215) 638-1800.