You may not think about your water heater too often. Even still, it’s probably one of your favorite appliances in your home. Without it, you wouldn’t have hot water for showering, washing dishes, or doing laundry. If it suddenly stops working, you’re certainly going to notice. Instead of risking that inconvenience, plan on having a professional perform regular water heater maintenance.

When to Plan on Regular Water Heater Maintenance

In general, your gas or electric water heater will benefit from an annual maintenance visit. A yearly inspection and tune-up are important for ensuring that your water heater is running well.

Regular maintenance on your water heater can help prevent breakdowns. During a maintenance call, your water heater professional will look over the system to assess its condition. If there are any problems, you can schedule a repair right away before the issue gets worse. That can help prevent interruptions in your hot water service.

Regular cleanings and tune-ups can reduce the wear and tear on this appliance. That lessens the chance that a part will suddenly break, leaving you without any hot water. Scheduled maintenance can help your water heater and all of its components last for as long as possible.

Water heater damage can also be a safety issue. If something goes wrong with your system, you might be at risk of a leak, a fire, or even an explosion. You or a family member could experience a painful burn. The cost of an annual maintenance visit is a small price to pay for the safety of your property and your loved ones.

Why a Plumber Should Flush Your Water Heater

Popping or cracking sounds in your water heater can be alarming. These sounds come from sediment buildup inside the tank of your water heater. Your water supply contains various minerals, especially if you live in an area with hard water. As the water flows through your tank, it may leave behind mineral deposits that accumulate at the bottom of the tank.

You’ll know that the buildup is becoming a problem when your water heater starts operating loudly. The sediment can trap heated water beneath it. The water will turn to steam and make loud popping sounds as it tries to push past the debris.

A thick layer of sediment can contribute to many issues.

  • Reduced efficiency
  • Higher power bills
  • Less hot water supply
  • Clogs in the water lines
  • Tank damage and potential leaks
  • Risk of explosions

Sediment buildup is one of the most common water heater issues, and plumbers know to address it during a maintenance call. There’s an easy fix: flushing the water heater.

First, your plumber will safely drain the water that is inside your water heater’s tank. Then, using fresh water, the plumber will flush the inside of the tank to wash away sediment. After thoroughly cleaning out the residue, it will be time to refill the tank and heat the fresh water. You’ll once again have a strong supply of hot water, but this time, a chorus of pops and crackles won’t accompany it.

What Else to Expect During a Water Heater Maintenance Visit

Flushing the tank isn’t the only job that your plumber will perform during a maintenance visit. It’s important to schedule this service even if you have a tankless heater or don’t hear any popping noises.

Your plumber will check the anode rod. This component guards your tank against corrosion. Through the magic of chemistry, the rod itself becomes corroded. You can typically use the same rod for several years, but it will eventually require replacement. During your annual maintenance visit, the plumber can evaluate the status of this important piece and decide whether it’s time for a new one.

Your maintenance professional might also check the temperature setting on the unit. The plumber will perform a safety inspection to look for any dangerous holes or cracks in your water heater. Another item on the checklist is making sure that the temperature-pressure release valve (TPR valve) is still in good working order.

How to Know if Your Water Heater Needs Additional Attention

There are some water heater issues that you shouldn’t ignore. Even if it’s been less than a year since your last water heater appointment, you may need to go ahead and call your Tacoma plumber for service.

If you’re running out of hot water more often than expected, there may be an issue with your system. A plumber can fix the problem so that your whole family can once again shower comfortably.

Even if your hot water lasts for a while, the water pressure may be low. Reduced water pressure is another sign that it might be time for water heater service. There could be an issue with one of the pipes, or sediment in the tank could be restricting the flow of hot water.

Maybe you don’t hear popping sounds from your water heater, but it seems that the motor is running more loudly than normal. This can be an issue with tankless water heaters, in particular. Calling for service may help you detect the source before your water heater stops working completely.

Leaks or puddles are a water heater issue that you should never ignore. They could be a sign that a larger issue is brewing. If you notice water on the floor near your water heater, please schedule service as soon as possible. You’ll also want to call a plumber if you see drips coming from a valve or a pipe. Frequent condensation on the outside of the tank may also require service.

Rusty water can be another sign of a water heater problem. Whether the water looks dark red or simply has a murky tinge, your water heater or its pipes may require repairs.

When to Think About a New Water Heater

During a maintenance or repair call, your plumber might eventually suggest that it’s time to get a new water heater. Regular maintenance can help you get a few extra years out of your water heater, but it still won’t last forever. Most units are good for around eight to 12 years in terms of safety and efficiency.

One key benefit of regular system maintenance is that you can count on the expertise of our professionals. Your plumber’s goal is to keep your system safe and operational. You can trust that you’ll receive reliable advice about when it’s time for water heater replacement.

For traditional or tankless water heater service and other plumbing needs, give Hunt’s Services in Tacoma a call. Our experienced plumbers work on drains, pipes, garbage disposals, sump pumps, and more. We also have professionals to care for your heating, cooling, and electrical systems. We are your full-service team for residential property care in the Tacoma area. Visit our website or call today to schedule your first appointment with a Hunt’s Services professional.

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