Water Heater (electric) Suggestion

Idea

Water Heater (electric) Suggestion

Insulating exposed hot water piping coming from your water heater will help reduce your home’s energy costs.

Routine Care Task

Schedule annual professional inspection and service (including flushing sediments and testing pressure relief valve)

This annual professional service is necessary for maintaining safety and energy efficiency of your water heater.

Timing: September (yearly)

Flush out sediments, and test pressure relief valve

Tank flushing: Over time, the hot temperature of the water in the tank causes lime sediments from the water to tend to build up in the bottom of the tank (depending on the water’s hardness).This build-up causes the water heater to lose heat transfer energy efficiency, which means that the water heater has to work harder to heat the water, making it more expensive to operate.

Relief valve testing: The pressure relief valve is an important safety feature of your water heater. If too much pressure builds up on the tank, the pressure relief valve opens up to relieve the pressure. However, corrosion or scale build-up can prevent the valve from operating properly, potentially resulting in the tank exploding. Therefore it is very important to test the pressure relief valve to ensure that it is operating properly

Timing: Every 4 months: March, September, December (yearly)

How To

An annual professional inspection and service should be conducted by a trained water heater service person. Items that they should include in their service and inspection are:

  • Inspect and clean burner assembly (gas and oil models).
  • Inspect exhaust flue (gas and oil models).
  • Flush out sediments by draining 1-2 gallons from the tank.
  • Test the pressure relief valve.
  • Drain the expansion tank (if it is a conventional-type tank) or re-pressurize the expansion tank (if it is a diaphragm-type tank).
  • Ensure the fuse is tight if the circuit includes an electrical fuse.
  • Check for evidence of leaks or corrosion.
  • Check the temperature thermostat on the tank. If it is higher than 130°F you’re likely wasting energy. To test the actual temperature of the water, place a meat thermometer in a path of hot running water upstairs.

If the water heater is more than 10 years old, consider replacing the anode rod. This rod is designed to protect the inside of your tank from corrosion.

FLUSH OUT SEDIMENTS: On the side of the hot water heater, on the lower part of the tank, is a valve for draining water out of the tank of the hot water heater. Draining water out of the tank flushes out sediments that settle to the bottom of the tank as the water is heated.

To flush the tank:

  • For electrical water heaters, turn OFF the power at the circuit breaker. And for gas models, turn the thermostat on the unit to the PILOT position.
  • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, and put the other end either in a 5-gallon bucket, a floor drain, or run the hose outside.
  • If you have a recirculation pump for your hot water system, then turn this off.
  • Shut off the supply valve for the cold water inlet to the water heater.
  • Open a HOT water faucet in a sink closest to your water heater, and open another HOT water faucet in a sink that is at the highest point in your house (NOTE: Just a little water will flow out, since you have shut the water supply valve to your hot water heater in the step above).
  • Open the pressure relief valve at the top of the tank (you might want to place a rag or small bowl under the vent pipe to catch any water drops that might come out).
  • Open the drain valve on your tank and drain 1 to 2 gallons from the tank. NOTE: The water coming out of the garden hose will be scalding hot so be careful that the water doesn’t splash anywhere except in the bucket, drain, or outside. As the water begins to drain out, you will probably notice some small scale or sediment in the water.

To refill the tank:

  • Close the drain valve and remove the garden hose.
  • Close the pressure relief valve at the top of the tank.
  • Open the valve for the cold water inlet to the tank, and you should start to hear the tank fill with water.
  • Watch the faucets that you opened in the house. After you begin to get a steady stream of water from the faucet, shut that faucet.
  • For electric water heaters, turn the power back on, and for gas models, turn the thermostat on the water heater back to its ON position.
  • If you have a recirculation pump, then turn it back on.
  • Double check that the drain valve is tight.

TEST PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE: The pressure relief valve is at the top of the tank, with a drain tube extending down from it.

To test the valve, with the water supply valve to your water heater in the open position (i.e., its normal operating position), place a bucket under the vent pipe for the valve, then lift the lever on the valve for a few seconds to let the water flush out through the valve.

If little or no water flows out, or if the valve doesn’t shut off, then replace it.

NOTE: The water coming out of the vent pipe will be scalding hot, so be careful that the water doesn’t splash on you.

Benefits

The benefits of scheduling an annual professional inspection and service are very high. Doing this task is essential to helping ensure safe, energy efficient operation of your water heater. It also helps to extend the useful life of the unit.

The benefits of flushing out sediments, and testing pressure relief valve are moderately high, as doing this task will help extend the useful life of your water heater, which is a relatively expensive piece of equipment in your home. This task also helps save you energy by maintaining the efficiency of your water heater. Testing the relief valve helps ensure safe operations of your unit.

Costs

The cost of scheduling an annual professional inspection and service is moderately low. You should hire a trained professional to do this task.

The cost of flushing out sediments, and testing pressure relief valve is moderately high from an investment of time standpoint. It is estimated that this task should take about 60 minutes to complete. You will need a hose and bucket to do this task.

 

Originally posted at http://www.petermuehlbronner.home-wizard.com/idea/hot-water-piping-insulation

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