5 Reasons You Should Track Your Water Heater

A hot shower or bath is a little treat you want to have on hand at all times. We, on the other hand, frequently take our water heater for granted — until you're left with nothing but an icy cold supply.
5 Reasons You Should Track Your Water Heater

Checking and servicing your water heater on a regular basis will help you avoid a water heater breakdown and keep your water hot all year. But, in order to ensure optimal performance, what should you check on your water heater each year? Here are five things you should check on your water heater at least once a year.

Water Heater Age and Condition 

It's simple to check the age and overall condition of your water heater, and it can disclose a lot about it. A water heater, like any other device, can break down with time, becoming less efficient and more problematic. A well-maintained, high-quality water heater can last up to ten years, but it may require professional maintenance. Water heaters that are of poor quality, have been neglected, or are utilized in places with hard water or silt may need to be changed more regularly. Checking the age of your water heater is a quick and easy approach to assess its condition and determine whether or not it needs to be replaced.

Leaks and Connections

A leaking water heater may indicate that you need to replace it, or it may simply indicate that the connections need to be tightened or changed. Once a year, inspect the connections to your water heater to avoid leaks or flooding that could cause damage. If you find a leak, you should contact a plumber who is familiar with water heaters as soon as possible to determine the source of the leak. It could be caused by a malfunctioning temperature and pressure valve, a loose inlet or outlet valve, or a leaking heating gasket. If water is detected surrounding your water heater due to a tank leak, you will need to replace the water heater. 

Temperature

Once a year, check the temperature of your water heater to determine how efficiently and effectively the thermostat and water heater are working.  Allow one hour for your water heater to run without using hot water (if it is a storage-style heater). Otherwise, use your water heater, as usual, to heat the water to the proper temperature. Using a candy or culinary thermometer, check the water temperature at the tap closest to the hot water tank. If you detect a significant difference between the temperature of the water and the temperature set by your thermostat, you may need to contact a plumber.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a steel wire with an aluminum or magnesium coating that helps to prevent rust in the hot water tank. Because it's designed to wear away and rust instead of causing your tank to rust, it's also referred to as the sacrificial anode rod. It's critical to inspect your water heater's anode rod to ensure it isn't worn out or covered in silt. If there are more than 6 inches of steel exposed, the entire rod is less than 12 inches thick, or the rod is coated in calcium buildup, replace the anode rod.

Sediment Buildup

In places with hard water or mineral-rich water supplies, sediment build-up can cause problems with water heater tanks. Sediment can settle and accumulate in the bottom of your hot water tank over time. This can disrupt the operation of your hot water tank, putting the element, thermostat, and inlet and output valves at risk. The sediment build-up in the water tank can be eliminated by emptying and flushing it out. Checking your water heater once a year ensures that it is in good working order and continues to run efficiently. 

Keep an eye on your water heater with PowerX

The PowerX Water Heater Sensor is the perfect water heater tracker for any home. Our easy-to-install sensor is compatible with all types of water heaters and keeps you up to date with your usage, local leaks and any can help you identify any inefficiencies. Learn more about our smart home devices and how they can help you track your usage and save money on utilities.

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