Water Heater Maintenance Tips For Allentown Residences and Businesses

The water heater is about as maintenance-free as possible when compared to other household appliances. As long as it is properly installed and the right temperature is set, there is very little that is needed to keep it efficiently functioning over a long period of time. However, steps are there that should be taken to prevent leaks and ensure that the water heater will maintain its efficiency.

Common Water Heater Problems

A lot of problems associated with the water heater can be easily figured out and repaired without hiring the services of a plumber or other professionals. However, you should know your repair limitations before attempting to fix problems on your own.

allentown water heater maintenanceProblems with Temperature – If the water is not sufficiently hot or there is no hot water at all, repairing the problem could involve simply adjusting the thermostat. The ideal temperature ranges between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for most households. A broken thermocouple could also be the cause of you getting no hot water.

Noise Issues – Nothing is worse than a banging, creaking, knocking or whining water heater. The buildup of sediment is primarily responsible for noise issues linked to the water heater. The heating element comes in contact with the debris and a lot of noise is caused from the heating element burning the sediment away.

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Troubleshooting Typical Water Heater Problems

Typically, water heater problems become self-evident over time. No hot water, a leak and a noisy heater are just some indications of problems.

No Hot Water

The possible causes include a defective gas pilot control valve, a malfunctioning thermocouple or a faulty gas pilot.

Repair Possibilities

  • Test out the pilot operation and check the pilot flame.
  • Have the gas thermocouple re-tightened, replaced or reposition.
  • Change the pilot control valve.

Leak

The possible causes could include defective pressure relief valve, leak from nearby or overhead plumbing connection, corrosion causing the tank to leak and overheating or excessive pressure placed on the pressure relief valve.

Repair Possibilities

  • Put a bucket beneath the overflow pipe. Open the pressure relief valve and flush it to clear the debris. Replace the valve if there is still a leak.
  • Lower the setting on the thermostat to prevent overheating of the tank.
  • Look through the combustion chamber to examine the tank bottom. If there is noticeable rusting or water marks, it will be time to replace the water heater.

Noise

The possible cause of this is excessive sediment buildup that causes the tank bottom to overheat and the water to boil.

Repair Possibility

Flush the water heater to remove the sediment buildup.

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Gas Hot Water Heater Preventative Maintenance Tips

Below are a few useful tips regarding efficient and safe usage of the water heater:

• Insulate foam pipe to help with silencing noisy pipes.
• Use insulated foam pipes to prevent heat loss.
• Check the temperature setting of the water heater and ensure that it is around 150 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent scalding of elderly folk or small children.
• Have hot water pipes insulated to minimize the use of energy, especially if they run a long way from the water heater to the faucets. If access can be gained to the hot-water pipes, heat loss can be minimized with the use of foam pipe insulation sleeves.
• Do periodical checks on the pressure relief valve. This valve prevents the boiler pressure from building up too excessively. Lower or lift the valve to drain water from the overflow pipe.

How to Know that You Need Water Heater Repairs

If the water in your water heater is heating slowly, you run out of hot water more rapidly than normal or the supply of hot water has totally dried up, there is a 90 percent chance that getting the problem solved will take the simple replacement of one or both heating elements. The solution is a straightforward repair and the replacement parts are usually reasonably priced and readily available at appliance parts dealers, hardware stores and home centers. However, other potential causes are there for a lack of hot water that may require testing the elements and other more complicated fixes.

Is Hot Water Heater Draining Necessary for Proper Maintenance?

As a component of regular home maintenance, a residential water heater is supposed to be drained. It is important to have the water heater drained to ensure that it operates efficiently throughout its life span. This can be done by flushing out debris like minerals that can cause the unit to malfunction. If the water heater is not properly maintained, it could cause unexpected cases of cold water bursts or it could stop functioning entirely.

Draining Frequency

The recommendations from experts vary. Some recommend that the water heater is drained annually, while others recommend that it is drained every 6 months. To be certain about the draining frequency on your unit, ensure that you consult the manufacturer’s recommendations in the owner’s manual or online. The rule of thumb is that the more the water heater is used, the more frequent will be its need for maintenance.

Rheem Water Heater Maintenance Tips

As an industry leader for total cooling, heating and water heating solution, Rheem definitely has the experience and expertise needed to provide valuable tips on maintaining the water heater. The life span of the water heater can be considerably extended in these annual maintenance tips are followed:

Dial the Temperature Down – Check the temperature setting on the water heater, it is the knob that on the gas valve. Dial the setting down to between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowered temperature will lower the energy that is used to heat the water and prevent the tank from overheating.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve – This valve is vital to the proper operation and safety of the water heater. To test the valve, partially lift up the lever. Let it go so it rapidly snaps back. A gurgling sound should be heard as the valve allows the release of some water into the drain tube. If the valve did not work, it needs replacing.

Do a Mini-Flush – Remove sediments from the tank bottom to improve efficiency and prevent rust and corrosion. A mini-flush is quite effective at removing sediments. Simply put a bucket underneath the drain valve. In a counter-clockwise motion, turn the valve and discharge a few gallons of water. Turn the valve clockwise to close and drain the bucket.

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The water heater is among the home appliances that are often taken for granted until a cold shower becomes a bone-chilling wake-up call. Carry out regular maintenance to ensure that you do not get a cold and possibly expensive revelation.

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