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How Can You Preserve Your Water Heater?

  1. If you have hard water, drain and clean your tank regularly. Check your owner’s manual for how often the tank manufacturer recommends, but a good routine is picking a consistent date at least once a year, and then following these guidelines:
    1. Turn the tank’s electricity or gas off first. Then turn off the water supply to the tank.
    2. Let the water in the tank cool for about an hour, and then drain the tank until it’s empty. It’s a good idea to use a screened drain for this, as rust particles and other sediment can collect and form larger particles that can clog smaller pipes.
    3. Turn the water supply back on and refill the tank about half way. Drain it again to remove any lingering sediment.
    4. Refill the tank.
    5. Turn the gas or electricity to the tank back on.
  2. Check your thermostat. If it’s set higher than 120 degrees, then you may want to nudge it down to 120.
    1. A lower temperature helps preserve the life of your tank, saves on your energy costs and helps prevent scalding accidents.
    2. Keep it at 120 or higher to prevent mold and bacterial growth.
    3. Use the “Vacation Setting” when you leave for an extended visit. The pilot light stays lit but the water won’t heat. You’ll save money on energy.
  3. Check the area around your water heater and keep the floor around it clean. That way, you can immediately detect excessive rust or other debris buildup that can indicate potential problems.


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