Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater Properly

Water heaters are an essential appliance in most homes, providing hot water for showers, dishwashing, and laundry. While water heaters are designed to be durable and dependable, they can become inefficient or even break down if not properly maintained.

Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your water heater runs smoothly and efficiently throughout its lifespan. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to maintain your water heater properly so you can get the most out of it.

Benefits of Routine Maintenance for Your Water Heater

Regularly maintaining your water heater can help you get the most out of it. There are several benefits to keeping your water heater in top condition, including:

Improved efficiency and performance

Regular maintenance keeps your water heater running more efficiently, resulting in lower energy costs and improved performance.

Extended life

Taking care of your water heater with regular maintenance can extend its lifespan.

Prevention of costly repairs

Scheduling regular inspections allows any potential issues to be caught early on before they turn into bigger and more expensive problems down the road.

Safer operation

Properly maintained water heaters run safer than those that have not been serviced regularly. This helps prevent leaks or breakdowns, which can be dangerous.

By taking the time to routinely maintain your water heater, you can enjoy all of these benefits and more. Make sure to schedule inspections and cleanings regularly to ensure your water heater is in optimal condition.

Steps to Clean and Maintain Your Water Heater

Cleaning your water heater is key to ensuring it runs properly, so it’s important to do this at least once a year—ideally twice a year if you live in an area with hard-water minerals like calcium and magnesium. Here are the steps you should take when cleaning your water heater:

  1. Turn off the power—If your water heater is gas-powered, turn off the gas supply line before beginning any maintenance. If your water heater is electric, turn off the power breaker that controls it. It’s also important to make sure no one turns on any hot water taps while you’re working on the unit as this can cause a dangerous backdraft.
  2. Drain your tank—Using a garden hose, drain at least one quart of water from the tank. This will help flush out any sediment that has built up over time.
  3. Reattach the garden hose and open the pressure relief valve—Attach the garden hose to the drain valve and open it to release any remaining water or sediment in the tank. Let this run for about two minutes before closing it again and turning off the power supply or gas line as applicable.
  4. Flush out any remaining debris—Using a bucket, slowly pour fresh water into the top of your water heater until all of the debris is flushed away and only clean water is running from the bottom of your unit.
  5. Replace any necessary parts—If any of the internal components are corroded or damaged, replace them before turning your water heater back on.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Your Water Heater

Despite regular maintenance, water heaters can still suffer from common issues. Here are some of the most common problems you may experience with your water heater, as well as some tips for troubleshooting them:

  • Lack of hot water—If you’re not getting any hot water or it’s not staying hot long enough, this could be caused by a broken heating element or worn-out thermocouple. You may also want to check the thermostat and adjust it if necessary.
  • Leaks—If there is an excessive amount of moisture around your tank, there could be an issue with a corroded pipe or valve. Check all hoses and valves to make sure they’re functioning properly.
  • Odors—If you notice an unpleasant odor coming from your water heater, it may be caused by a buildup of bacteria in the tank or a blockage in the drain valve. To prevent this, make sure to flush out your tank regularly and use a water heater cleaning solution to remove any built-up sediment.
  • Noises—If you hear strange noises coming from your water heater such as popping, rumbling or gurgling, this could be caused by air bubbles forming in the tank due to overuse or under-filling. Make sure to check the temperature and adjust it if necessary and consider flushing out the tank for further maintenance.


Overall, proper maintenance is key to ensuring your water heater runs smoothly and efficiently throughout its lifespan. Taking the time to clean, inspect, and troubleshoot any potential issues can help you avoid costly repairs in the future.

Regular care will also help maximize the life of your water heater so you can get years of reliable service from it. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your water heater running properly. So what are you waiting for? Get your water heater checked in Layton!