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Water Heater Needs Maintenance

Your water heater is a critical home appliance that often goes unnoticed. Though you may not venture out to inspect your water heater often, you’re almost certainly enjoying its functionality every day. Make sure the water heater in your Royersford, Pennsylvania, home is getting the care and attention it needs with regular maintenance visits. There are several compelling reasons to make sure water heater maintenance stays on your calendar.

Handling Safety

A primary purpose of water heater maintenance is to ensure that your system is operating safely. During your maintenance visit, our technician will thoroughly inspect the unit’s key components to make sure everything is running as it should. The pressure valve is one of the most critical concerns during the inspection. This safety component opens to relieve pressure from the tank if it becomes too high. If the valve fails to open, the tank would explode if it became over-pressurized. As part of your regular tuneup, we’ll make sure the pressure valve is working properly.

Temperature is another important safety concern with your water heater. If you’ve recently purchased your home, you probably don’t know what the water heater’s temperature is set to. If it’s too high, you risk scalding yourself when you turn on the hot water tap. Keeping the temperature no higher than 120 degrees is a safe and advised temperature. If saving energy is a priority, consider adjusting the temperature a bit lower. You’ll likely reduce energy costs by about 5 percent for every 10 degrees.

Sediment Buildup

Though you may not realize it, treated water naturally contains a small amount of calcium carbonate. You won’t notice it under tepid conditions, but the extreme heat found inside your water heater tank causes it to separate from the water and collect at the bottom. Over time, a layer of this sediment accumulates inside your water heater tank.

Calcium carbonate doesn’t transfer heat well, so an accumulation of sediment will diminish efficiency. Since heat is applied to the tank at the bottom, the heat has to work its way up through the sediment before it reaches the water. Thus, the presence of excess sediment in the tank means the system has to work harder and longer in order to reach the desired water temperature. A heavy buildup of sediment also takes up space, which means less space is available in the water heater tank for preparing hot water if you still use a water heater tank vs. tankless system.

Regularly draining your water heater is recommended so that the buildup of sediment at the bottom can be removed. An annual visit is adequate if you have soft water, but those with hard water may want to flush their system more frequently. Keeping sediment under control will extend the life of your system and help you enjoy optimum efficiency.

Wear and Tear on Elements

Over time, your water heater’s elements will naturally experience some wear and tear. Keeping up with proper maintenance ensures that these critical parts are replaced before they stop functioning. The anode rod is an important component that’s responsible for attracting corrosive elements and removing them from the water. Naturally, the anode rod itself will become corroded over time. Replacing the rod before it fails will extend the life of your water heater. This part typically lasts for about five years.

Heating elements in the water heater also need to be replaced periodically. These most commonly last for a few years, but may wear out sooner under hard water conditions. If your water heater isn’t supplying as much hot water as it should, involves frequently trips your breaker, or takes a long time to recharge, you probably have a bad element. When your tank is drained and flushed to remove sediment, it’s possible to check the elements to see if it’s time for a replacement.

With proper care and maintenance, your water heater will deliver those hot showers, warm baths, and clean clothes you enjoy for years to come. If your system needs a little extra care and maintenance, give New Age Air a call at 610-298-0271 for all your water heater needs.

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