Don't Get Left in the Cold: 3 Steps to Keep Your Water Heater in Tip-Top Shape

If you have a large family, your water heater probably works overtime to provide your home with plenty of hot water. The last thing you want is to have your hot water run cold during bath time. Luckily, you don't have to. With routine maintenance, your water heater will provide you with plenty of hot water. Here are three steps you should take to keep your water heater in tip-top shape.

Adjust the Temperature

You might think that keeping the thermostat set to the maximum setting will prevent you from running out of hot water during peak usage. However, that's not necessarily the truth. Keeping the thermostat at the maximum setting will burn out your water heater faster, elevate your energy bill, and could also pose a safety hazard for you and your family. To extend the life of your water heater, reduce your energy bill, and protect you and your family from potential hot-water burns, keep your thermostat turned to about 120 degrees.

Drain the Tank

There's nothing worse than dirty water. Unfortunately, water-heater tanks can get contaminated with sediment, which can cause cloudy, foul-smelling water. To prevent a problem with the quality of your water, you should drain your water-heater tank several times a year.


  1. Turn the water to your water heater off.
  2. Turn the water heater off and allow the water to cool for several hours.
  3. Attach a garden hose to the water spigot located on the front of your water heater.
  4. Stretch the garden hose out into your yard.
  5. Open the water-release valve and allow the water to drain into the garden.
  6. Once the tank is emptied, turn the valve off and remove the garden hose.
  7. Turn the water back on and refill your tank.
  8. Turn the water heater back on.

Test the Pressure-Relief Valve

The pressure-relief valve, located on the bottom of your tank, is designed to prevent pressure build-up inside the tank. To make sure that the pressure-relief valve is working properly, you should test it once or twice a year. Press the valve several times to release the pressure. Once you've released the valve, watch it for several minutes to make sure it doesn't leak. If you see water leaking from the valve following the release, you'll need to have the pressure-relief valve replaced.

If your water heater is overworked on a regular basis, don't forget to perform some routine maintenance. The simple instructions provided here will help prevent breakdowns. Talk to a professional such as Actionaire Inc for more information.