6 Proclivities of Successful Water Heater Owners
Water Heater Maintenance Tips
Have you thought much about your water heater lately?
Most people do not think much about their water heater until they have a problem. Typically the first thing that is noticed is a lack of hot water, and then the investigating begins.
Here are 6 tips that can help you become a successful water heater owner and keep you one step ahead so you do not end up spending valuable time dealing with a broken water heater. The benefit of being a successful water heater owner is longer tank life expectancy, lower energy bills, and the potential for little or no damage to occur as a result of water leakage. Also, being prepared with information will make the entire process easier when your tank needs to be repaired or replaced.
1. Know where your water heater is located and have clear access to reach it. This may sound simple, but sometimes it’s tucked away in an attic or basement and not easy to reach and after many years since a water heater is not something people often think about it can be forgotten – until there is no hot water.
2. Know what type of water heater you have, ie. natural gas, electric, propane or solar. Also knowing whether you have a storage tank type (hint: this is the most common type) or a tankless type water heater is helpful. Write down the model number and serial number of your water heater or at least know where this information is on the tank, it has the age and gallon capacity coded into it and is important for warranty purposes.
3. Know how to turn off the fuel or power supply to your water heater, once you know which type of unit you have, make sure you know how to turn off the gas or electricity to the unit. 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 for the water heater in case the shut off near the water heater doesn’t work. If you need any special tools to turn the valves off or to open the break box keep those nearby and in clear sight. When you have water leaking all over it’s easy to panic, especially if it’s causing damage. Doing a little upfront work so you are prepared will make a big difference in this situation.
4. Know where the water shut off valve to the water heater is. Again, if you need special tools to turn the valve off have them nearby along with a stepladder in case the valve is above the water heater and you need to turn the water off quickly. Most shut off valves are located above the water heater on the cold side piping. See our blog post – How to turn off a leaking water if you are not sure where your valve is.
5. Make sure the area around your water heater is clear and do not store anything with a few feet of your unit. This is a successful proclivity for a few reasons. First, if you have a gas fired (natural gas or propane) unit the water heater needs to “breath”. As the burner fires it need oxygen to burn the gas. When a water heater is smothered or does not have enough oxygen it can affect the efficiency of the unit, cause damage to the burner chamber and other water heater parts and even cause carbon monoxide leaks. Second, whether it is gas or electric if the unit starts to leak the water can be hidden from view or soak into what is being stored around it. This can cause a prolonged leak, which has the potential to cause more water damage and cause to water heater to reheat itself more often, wasting energy. Lastly, it is a fire hazard.
6. Keep a Water Heaters Only, Inc emergency shutdown sticker on your water heater. When you have problems with your unit, the sticker can help walk you through shutting of the gas and water and it has our 24-hour emergency phone number so you can give us a call if you are not sure what to do next or if you are having a problem with turning anything off. If you need a Water Heaters Only, Inc shut down sticker – email firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to mail one to you.