Naperville Plumbing

Plumbing in Naperville IL

Water Heater Maintenance

Homeowners need to periodically check their water heater for any dripping or leaks, as part of water heater maintenance.  An annual look see on your unit should quickly identify if there are any leaks.  Look at the valves and pipe to see if there is seepage.  Also, look underneath the unit itself for any pooled up water.

The problem is that a leaking water heater can cause a lot of harm to the lower portion or basement of your home.  Leaking water will destroy carpets, cause decay and mildew in your walls and subfloors, most of which you cannot see.  So then the first thing to check for are any signs of obvious leaks.  It’s a good idea to use a flashlight as the typical location of a water heater is dark – a basement or closet.  These leaks can be small, but are still insidious, so check carefully.

Professional plumbers recommend that once a year drain water out of the drain faucet of the tank.  This is located at the bottom of your tank.  The point of this is to remove sediment from the tank, which over time wears out the unit, reducing its ability to work properly – less hot water.  If you notice that your hot water supply does not seem what it used to be, this could be the culprit.

Most water heaters have a pressure release valve attached to an overflow pipe which should be tested once a year.  This is located at the top of the unit.   Gentle pull on the test handle of this valve, until water comes out of the overflow pipe which means the valve is working correctly.

Some older units do not have this type of valve and if you have one like that, you need to have a professional put in this valve.  The point of this safety valve is to release water if the pressure in the tank builds up too much, otherwise an explosion can occur in extreme situations.  For example, an increase in water pressure coming in from the street could cause too much pressure.  This is something outside of your control so hence the need for a pressure release valve.