When you live in Baltimore, Maryland, a hot shower on a cold winter morning is essential to help you get ready for the day. Like many homeowners, you probably wouldn’t want to experience a stream of ice-cold water when showering. You can take a few steps to prolong the life of your water heater. Find out how annual inspections and proper maintenance are among some ways you can care for your Baltimore, MD water heater.
Know What Type of Water Heater You Have
To properly care for your water heater, you should understand how it operates. A water heater can run on electricity, propane, or natural gas. It can also be a tankless water heater or a storage tank type. Record the model and serial numbers. These numbers can inform you and our professionals about the age and water storage capacity of your heater.
Understand How to Turn Off the Water
Would you know how to turn off the water if you experienced a problem with your water heater? You can prepare for problems by learning how to shut off the water and the power or fuel supply. If you discover a leak or suspect another problem with your water heater, turn off the power and water supply to the unit. Refer to the owner’s manual for your water heater to learn how to properly turn off the power and water supply.
Clear the Area Around Your Water Heater
You want to keep the space around your water clear for many reasons. If you have a gas-powered unit, you need to ensure that it has access to all of the oxygen it can obtain. When a water heater is enclosed by objects surrounding it, it cannot effectively operate. Storing items close to the water heater could cause damage to the burner chamber and other parts of the unit or lead to a carbon monoxide leak.
If your water heater sustains a leak of any type, clutter or objects stored around it could make detecting a leak difficult. Clutter in the space surrounding your water heater could damage the unit and potentially cause water damage. Storing items close to a water heater can also be a fire hazard.
Drain or Flush Your Water Heater
To keep your water heater running longer and using energy more efficiently, drain a few gallons from it at least once a year, particularly if the tank tends to allow large amounts of sediment to accumulate. You can complete this task by using a 5-gallon bucket or a hose and the drain valve on the unit. Discard the water you drain into a safe area outside your home. A safe area is any location where you don’t have lawn or landscaping as hot water can damage grass surfaces. If you don’t feel confident in performing this task, you can call one of our professionals to help you.
While flushing your water heater, we’ll analyze the state of the water. If we see a large quantity of debris or sediment, we’ll recommend that you perform a full flush of your water heater. A full flush occurs when you turn down the temperature and let the water flow for a few minutes to remove any lingering sediment.
Schedule an Annual Water Heater Inspection
Just as you would schedule an annual maintenance check of your air conditioning and heating system, take time to schedule an annual water heater inspection with one of our Griffith Energy Services professionals. Before one of our service technicians arrives at your home, you can do a preliminary visual inspection. Start with the top where the pipes meet the tank. Look for signs of corrosion near the valves and pipes. For electric water heaters, search for signs of rust streaks and residue around the panels covering the electrical components of the unit, which could indicate possible leaks.
If you have a gas water heater unit, ensure the draft hood is properly secured. You should have several inches of space present between the vent and the tank. Also be sure the thermostat is functioning properly.
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