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In the course of our lives, it’s easy to forget about all the hard work our water heaters do for our homes. They help us cook, clean, enjoy hot showers, wash the dog, and a ton of other tasks.

But even though they’re workhorses, our water heaters need TLC every once in a while, too. The great thing is that there are several easy and inexpensive ways to increase a water heater’s operating effectiveness and lifespan. This simple maintenance routine will help you get the most out of your water heater.

Here are 6 tips to help take care of your water heater:

  1. Drain it regularly: Drain about a quarter of the tank every three months to remove sediment and debris. This can be done by turning off the cold water, attaching a garden hose to the drain valve, and letting it run into a bucket until the water is clear.
  2. Flush the water heater tank: It’s a good idea to flush the water heater tank once a year. Most manufacturers recommend it, and it will keep your tank running optimally.
  3. Adjust the thermostat: Did you know you can save up to 5% in energy costs for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature? It’s true! So go ahead and leave the thermostat at 120 degrees. Also, be sure to use the “vacation” setting when you go out of town; this setting maintains the pilot light without heating the water.
  4. Protect the inside: Make sure an anode rod hangs in the tank to help prevent the inside from rusting out.
  5. Test the valve: Annually test the temperature-pressure relief valve by quickly discharging it two or three times. Following the testing, keep an eye out for small leaks from the valve.
  6. Protect older units: Adding insulation like a blanket or fiberglass jacket to older units can reduce heat loss by up to 45 percent, saving you a lot of money over time. Check your owner’s manual to see if your unit already has insulation.

And there you have it! If you don’t know where to start in caring for your water heater, you’re not alone. If you need extra help, don’t hesitate to call Northside Plumbing at 770-272-2558.

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