Water heater maintenance is an important step in controlling your natural gas bills. Although heaters that use natural gas use less energy and are more cost-effective than electric water heaters, they are not necessarily without problems. High gas bills can still be a problem if you don't maintain your water heater properly.
How does a gas water heater work?
Gas water heaters use gas burners. This burner heats the water as cold water enters the tank through the dip tube.
When natural gas burns, it releases gases that travel up through the storage tank through a central stack. As the air moves up to be exhausted, both the metal of the chimney and the surrounding water are heated.
The warm water then rises, moving through the heat output pipes of the pipes throughout the house. So when you turn on the faucet for hot water, the dip tube brings in hot water to replace the cold water pushed out.
The thermostat on the water heater controls the amount of gas used to heat the water. Remember, a gas water heater can keep the temperature in the tank at a constant level. The higher the temperature setting, the more gas is used to reach and maintain that temperature.
How to perform water heater maintenance?
Most gas water heaters can last 12 to 15 years before needing replacement. Here are some simple water heater maintenance items that can help extend the life of your gas water heater.
Check the thermostat
It is recommended that your water heater use a water temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you set it higher than this, the amount of gas used will increase, causing your gas bill to be higher.
Check the temperature of the water coming out of the faucet. It should be about 120 degrees (or match the setting on your water heater thermostat). If not, several factors may be at play.
First, the thermostat on your water heater may not be functioning properly. Second, when hot water flows from the water heater tank to the faucet, it can lose heat through uninsulated pipes. Third, your water heater may have deposits that prevent it from working efficiently.
Test the pressure relief valve annually
Next, test the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve) annually. This valve helps monitor and control the pressure within the water heater tank. If there is a pressure problem, water will leak from this valve to avoid pressure build-up.
The T&P valve is usually located on the top or side of the heater and has a drain attached. You'll need to use a wrench to disconnect the pipe, then put a bucket or bowl underneath to catch the water.
When done, lift the lever on the valve, but not all the way up. This will cause water to slowly flow out of the valve. Also, air and steam will be released.
If this doesn't happen, it means the pressure relief valve needs to be replaced soon. Please contact a plumber to complete this task.
Remove the sediment from the tank annually
Sediment is the main culprit for water heaters that fail or even stop working. It is made of minerals that are naturally present in the water, and the substance collects at the bottom of the tank.
It may take the form of sand or small particles, creating an unnecessary barrier. This makes it harder for heaters to heat various appliances throughout the home, increasing the bill.
A year is enough time for sediment to clog the bottom of the tank. That's why annual flushing can improve the lifespan of your gas water heater. And it is a very important part of water heater maintenance.
An annual sediment flush should be enough to ensure that the gas water heater does the job efficiently. Unfortunately, the heater can fail if left uncleaned for a long time.
At worst, the metal can become brittle, leading to cracks and small holes leading to leaks. This can no longer be repaired and requires a complete replacement of the heater.
Check anode rods every 3 years
The next item in a water heater repair is checking the anode rods.
For those unfamiliar, this wand is a superhero for keeping your water heater from rusting. Because water can rust metal. But that's not the case because the small anode rods are plugged into the top of the tank.
Made of magnesium or aluminum, which corrodes quickly in water, the "sacrificial rod" rusts, so the tank remains intact. However, once it's completely rusted, the fuel tank is next, which is why the rod must be replaced immediately. Otherwise, you'll notice rusty water or a faulty heater.
Anode rod inspection every 3 years is standard. To do this, loosen the hex head screw to remove the anode rod. You should replace it if it is less than 1/2 inch thick, if it is coated with calcium, or if more than 6 inches of the core wire is exposed.
You can replace this rod yourself, or contact a plumber for assistance. If you want to buy a gas water heater, please contact us.
Greaidea is a professional gas water heater manufacturer with over 20 years of experience in manufacturing, R&D, and customization. Our gas water heater factory is located in Shunde, Foshan City. In our R&D department, 12 engineers are employed to guarantee our R&D advantage and innovation advantage. The test room and assembly line have been upgraded. Spend 3% of revenue on research and development each year. With an excellent manufacturing team and quality control team, we have achieved an annual output of 500,000 gas water heaters of the best quality.