Your hot water tank is one of the hardest working and potentially most expensive appliances in your home – here is a guide to maintaining it to from the experts at Vision Mechanical in Kelowna.
You depend on your hot water heater many times a day for everything from showering, washing clothes, doing dishes to cooking and yet very few people do any maintenance on it or even give it a second thought, until it no longer works. Because it is in such constant demand, your hot water tank can also be an expensive addition to your energy bill. Here are a few easy ways to increase its efficiency and extend its life. By doing both you can save money TODAY on your energy bill and forgo an expensive repair or replacement bill TOMORROW.
With some easy, regular maintenance, your tank should last for far more than a decade and provide reliable hot water to you and your family. These three things will minimize your energy bill and maximize the life of your heater:
- Turn down the temperature. Whenever you are away for more than a few days, turn down the temperature setting on your tank to “Vacation” – this will ensure that you aren’t paying to heat water that you aren’t using.For everyday use, turn your tank down to 120 degrees F. This will reduce your energy bill while still providing adequate hot water. Running your hot water tank at a lower temperature will also protect it from potentially overheating.
- Flush your tank annually. Over time, calcium and other minerals in our water will settle in your hot water tank. This sediment makes your heater less efficient as it creates a barrier at the bottom or your tank, forcing it to work harder and costing you more money. Over time, this sediment can also break down your tank floor, shortening its life. A full flush of your tank is time consuming, but a mini-flush will remove most sediment, takes very little time and doesn’t require shutting down the hot water heater.
To flush your tank, place a bucket under the drain valve found at the bottom of the tank. Turn the valve counter-clockwise to release a few liters of water into the bucket and then close the valve by turning it clockwise and drain the bucket.
These three simple do-it-yourself steps will reduce your energy bill, extend the life or your hot water heater and ensure it is operating optimally. If you would like help with any of these steps please do not hesitate to contact the experts at Vision Mechanical. Of course, we can also advise and help you with the replacement of your hot water heating system (tank or tankless) if needed.
In addition to the steps above, never store anything against or near your hot water tank as it can be a fire hazard, and ensure that the floor area is clear in the event of flooding. Also, be aware when doing any work on a hot water heater that you are working around gas, electricity and possibly sharp edges. Protect your eyes when flushing or testing your system.
Vision Mechanical is the premiere heating and cooling company in Kelowna and the Okanagan. Please call our experts to discuss any concerns with respect to your hot water heating system.