How to keep your water heater happy in the New Year.

The resolutions are coming. It’s time for reflection and change. But what about for your water heater? For many of us, the only time we think about our water heater is when something bad happens. Let’s break the trend. Here are some helpful tips to try and add a little extra life to that often ignored piece of equipment.

1. Know where your water heater is located
First things first, do you know where your water heater is? Believe it or not, this isn’t a crazy question. So let’s track the little guy down. Not only should you know where the water heater is, you should have clear access to it, as sometimes it's tucked away in an attic or basement and the plumbing is not easy to reach.

2. Know what type of water heater you have
Don’t be afraid to know a little about your water heater. Is it natural gas, electric
or propane? Is it a storage tank type or a tankless water heater? Also, write down the model number and serial number of your water heater or at least know where this information is on the tank as it has the age and gallon capacity coded into it. This is important for warranty purposes and usually one of the first questions a plumber will ask.

3. Know how to turn off the water
The worst time to figure out how to turn your water off is when you absolutely NEED to turn your water off. Know how to do this is important in the event of an emergency or if your water heater is leaking or you smell gas. There should be a gas valve or a disconnect switch within a few feet of the water heater. It's also a good idea to know where your main gas shut-off valve is or which breaker is used for the water heater.

As for the water shut-off, most shut-off valves are located above the water heater on the cold side piping. You also should locate your water shut-off valve coming into your home.

4. Clear the area around your water heater
It’s always a good idea to give your water heater some space. For starters, if you own a gas-fired unit, it needs a good supply of oxygen to burn the gas. If a water heater is smothered and can’t get enough oxygen, it can affect the efficiency and even damage the unit.

If you have debris or clutter surrounding the unit, you may not be able to spot a leak as quickly as possible. This could cause further damage to your home and to the unit, as well.

5. Drain or flush your water heater
At least once a year, drain a few gallons out of your water heater using the drain valve. If you notice a lot of sediment or debris, then a full flush is recommended.

If you have any other questions about your water heater, make sure to call your Louisville Dauenhauer, any hour.