Water heaters mean the difference between comfortable, hot showers and a sudden cold streak that ruins a good day's unwinding. If you have a new water heater or recently had repairs, it's worth keeping a few techniques in your skill set to make sure that your system doesn't completely break down in the cold of winter or become too dilapidated for repair professionals to handle without full replacements. Here are a few maintenance techniques to keep in mind as you enjoy hot water convenience.
Check The Insulation
Any heating device suffers from energy loss through heat. Any heat that you feel emanating from the water heater is heat that isn't being used for your dishwater or showers, and while no engineer in the world has figured out how to reduce heat loss to zero, there's no reason to waste heat without doing anything about it.
Most water heater installations come with insulation tape in addition to a chassis designed to contain and redirect heat loss. All pipes that move hot water need to be covered either in basic insulation tape, or clamped with some kind of insulation structure. Make sure that any tape and/or insulating devices are strapped on tightly and closed completely.
Whether you're using a water heater tank or an inline water heater, the devices need insulation on their surfaces to stop the source from being the major heat loss area. Fiberglass padding is available, as are water heater blankets. If you want to optimize water heater efficiency, allow a water heater repair professional to install top of the line insulation and then keep an eye on its quality yourself every month or so.
Request Water Heater Flushing Regularly
Maybe 2 or 3 times a year, be sure to have your water heater system flushed. Sediments can build up within a few months depending on water quality and the quality of the water heater, especially when you're dealing with a water tank system.
Sediment will mostly depend on the kind of water you're given. If you know that your local water has heavy deposits of sediment to the point of needing a water filter, all of that is being boiled away and collected inside of the water tank.
Coastal cities have to worry about salts and calcium buildup as well, which may need 4 or more flushings or a closer inspection to figure out how fast the water tank clogs up. Lastly, sediment caused by corrosion is usually a sign to get a new tank or consider a different tank material, especially in coastal cities that accelerate rust or corrosion due to water salinity (salt levels).
Contact a water heater professional to discuss maintenance, upgrades, and repairs for your water heating and general plumbing needs.