Water-heating equipment upkeep you can handle yourself.
Unfortunately, the Roach Energy team gets many calls from Eastern Panhandle homeowners in the unenviable position of having their water heater suddenly fail. A water heater breakdown can lead to significant water damage, leaving your family without hot showers, functional dishwashers or other hot-water-dependent appliances.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy found that heating water accounts for roughly 18% of a home’s energy use. It’s incredibly important to check in on your water heater from time to time and ensure it’s running well. This can help you get ahead of a potential breakdown.
How do you know if your water heater is struggling?
Traditional storage tank water heaters last around 10 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20. Corrosion from particles in water is a major cause of water heater failure. Although you can’t see internal corrosion with the naked eye, there are some warning signs, including:
Rumbling, clanging and other strange noises
Water at the base of your tank
Rusty or brown water from your taps
Unexplained increases in fuel usage
You can slow down corrosion, retain system efficiency and extend your water heater’s lifespan by doing regular maintenance.
What water heater maintenance can you do yourself?
The most helpful thing you can do to maintain your water heater is flush it of sediment once a year. Your unit’s manual will provide specific instructions for your model, but here’s a general rundown of the process for a traditional storage tank system:
Set the unit’s burner to off or pilot, preventing damage to the appliance.
Shut off the water supply valve (generally above the tank).
Attach a hose to the tank’s drain valve. Run it outside or to a utility sink, shower or floor drain.
Open one hot water tap in your home or the water heater’s pressure release valve to prevent a vacuum from forming inside your tank.
Open the drain valve and let the water heater empty. Please note: the water will be hot.
After the tank drains, open the supply valve to run cold water through the tank.
Once the water from your hose is mostly sediment-free, close the drain valve and remove the hose.
Refill the tank with water. Be sure to close the pressure release valve or turn off the hot water tap.
Turn your burner back on.
When should you contact Roach Energy for maintenance?
While most homeowners know it’s important to get regular maintenance for their furnace or boiler, fewer know the value of arranging water heater maintenance every year or so. An annual water heater maintenance visit is an opportunity for a professional technician to check your unit’s burner and other components. You can improve your system efficiency and extend its service life.
Our team is available to inspect and service your water heater. If we find that it’s nearing retirement, we will recommend a suitable water heater replacement that can lower your energy bills and extend your hot showers.