Hot water is something most Virginia Beach area homeowners take for granted. Admit it, the only time you think about your water heater is when it isn’t working.
But by taking the time to perform some simple upkeep, you can ensure your traditional water heater lives a long and efficient life. Here are our top three traditional water heater maintenance secrets.
Lower the temperature to save money and avoid burns
Most traditional water heaters come from the manufacturer at a setting of 130-140° Fahrenheit. However, this is overkill. You will never need your water to be at such high temperatures.
Instead, set the thermostat on your traditional water heater to 115-120°. This will save you from excessively hot water that can scald and burn your skin. It will also reduce your energy bills by about 5%, according to Energy Savers.
And because your water heater will not be running quite as often, lowering the temperature should also extend its life, ensuring you get the most out of your investment.
Inspect the T&P valve to prevent floods and explosions
Traditional water heaters store and heat water in a tank. As the temperature increases inside of this tank, so does the pressure. (Consider how a boiling pot of water can push the lid off and leak water onto your stove.)
Of course, safety mechanisms are built into the water heater. One of those safety mechanisms is your T&P valve (aka the temperature and pressure relief valve.) It releases any excess pressure, keeping your traditional water heater’s tank from busting a leak.
You can make sure your water heater is functioning safely by inspecting this T&P valve. Here are the steps:
If the T&P valve gets stuck open or does not drain any water, contact a professional immediately.
Wrap the water heater tank to save money and reduce energy use
Traditional water heaters work by heating water and keeping it in reserve inside a tank, so it is ready whenever you might need hot water. However, this can be inefficient as some of the heat is lost while waiting to be used.
Wrapping an insulating blanket around the water heater will help improve its efficiency by reducing standby heat loss and increase its lifespan by reducing the strain placed on it.
These are our plumber’s top three traditional water heater maintenance secrets. Another way to ensure your water heater is operating safely and efficiently is by getting an annual water heater tune-up, but that one’s no secret.