Even the most diligent of homeowners don’t know their hot water tank needs regular maintenance. While your tank may not be headed for a disaster of epic proportions, chances are you or someone you know here in Victoria has had their home flooded by a faulty hot water heater. After all, it’s one of the two major causes of flooding in homes (the other being your laundry hoses).
Your hot water tank should be looked at by a professional plumber every two years, and it’s best to also hire a professional plumber for major tasks such as replacing parts, installing seismic strapping (a must-have here in Victoria BC), or installing a new hot water heater. But there are a few things you can do on your own (after shutting off power to the tank and checking your manual, of course).
Following these simple maintenance tips will keep your home—and your family—safe from disaster, and also extend the life of your tank and lower your electricity bill.
Check the temperature and pressure relief valve
Once a year, you should inspect the temperature and pressure relief valve to make sure it’s functioning properly. To test it, first place a bucket under the drainpipe, then gently raise and lower the valve. Hot water should rush out of the end of the drainpipe. If it doesn’t, you may need to call in a plumber to replace the valve.
However, this test only checks the freedom of mechanical movement and ensures the waterways are clear. It won’t tell you if there’s a buildup of mineral salt, rust or corrosion that could potentially cause the TPR valve to freeze up and become nonoperational.
So, every few years, you should give us a call so we can come in and visually inspect the valve for accumulations of deposits.
Drain the tank to remove sediment
Over time, sediment particles may build up in your tank, resulting in an inefficient, unreliable and possibly smelly hot water system. This is a short, easy procedure our qualified technicians can do for you! Call Wade Roberts Plumbing (250-883-7545) any time and we can set an appointment for you.
Maintain the proper water temperature for safety and savings
Your hot water tank should be set between 55ºC and 60ºC. Any lower and you run the risk of developing harmful bacteria in your water system, any higher and the risk of scalding becomes genuine. Operating on the lower end of the temperature scale will extend the appliance’s life and could also result in a lower Hydro bill.
Check for leaks
A leaking hot water tank can lead to costly water damage and higher utility bills. Be sure to check it every few months, because even the smallest leak can lead to a lot of trouble. If you discover obvious leaks, new rust stains, or water pooling at the base of the tank, it’s best to call a professional. Our emergency plumbers in Victoria BC are available 24/7 and have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right.
Know the age of your hot water heater
If it was installed “something like 10 years ago,” you need to get it checked out. If you call us in Victoria with the make, model and serial #, we can tell you its exact age and whether or not it needs to be professionally inspected by a plumber for safety and performance.
As always, make sure you cut power and check your manual before performing minor
maintenance to your hot water tank. If you’re unsure, or notice issues such as leaking or malfunctioning parts, you need to call in a professional plumber. After all, the earlier we identify the problem, the easier it will be to fix.
If you live in Victoria BC, you can call us at any time of day (or night!). Our plumbers are fully licensed, bonded and insured and will help you get your life back on track as soon as possible.
Call Wade Roberts Plumbing in Victoria BC at (250) 883-7545 or book an appointment online
For other handy DIY plumbing maintenance tips, click here.