Wilmington Plumber’s Guide: How to Extend the Life of a Water Heater

To avoid having to pay for replacing your water heater, your best course of action is to take care of the water heater you have. Many Wilmington homeowners forget about this simple part of household maintenance, probably because water heaters are so often out of sight that we take them for granted. For a simple start on water heater maintenance, try this annual routine:

  1. Lower the temperature on your water heater to somewhere between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than adequate for all household functions, and it will keep the water heater from overheating. Locate the knob on your unit (refer to the manual or manufacturer website if you have trouble) to dial it down. You’ll never notice the difference in temperature, but your water heater will have to work less and your energy bills will be lower.
  2. Test the temperature and pressure valve by lifting the valve lever part of the way up, then allowing it to snap back into place. This should be followed by a gurgling sound as water is briefly released from the tank into the drain tube. If not, the valve may need to be replaced.

It is also recommended that you get a professional inspection of your Wilmington water heater on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This plan is a good interim measure, however, and it only takes a few minutes each year.

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