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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Water Heater Maintenance: If You Neglected It Over the Winter, Tend to It Now

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 @ 03:57 PM

Over the course of a long Ohio winter, your main objective may be to keep your home heating system working properly and efficiently. Maintenance of other systems, such as your water heater, can easily be neglected. Now that winter has finally loosened its grip this year, it's time to schedule professional water heater maintenance and get that system tuned up for springtime cleaning chores and other tasks.

  • water heater maintenanceTest thermostat - Water temperature is usually set at 120 degrees unless you specifically want it to be higher. The technician will make sure the unit's thermostat correctly registers water temperature and responds to demands for hot water.
  • Check heating elements (for electric hot water heaters)The unit requires functioning heating elements to produce hot water, so the technician will check and, if necessary, replace these components.
  • Inspect fuel connections - If your hot water heater uses fossil fuels such as natural gas for heating, your technician will check the connections and make sure they're tight. He should also check the fuel lines for damage or potential leaks.
  • Check and test safety valves - The temperature and pressure (T&P) valve is a safety device that activates when pressures or temperatures get too high inside the water heater. If the valve isn't working properly, water heater tanks or pipes could burst, causing serious damage or injury. The valve should be tested for proper operation and opened to remove sediments or blockages.
  • Check combustion - After cleaning the burner and pilot orifice, be sure that the hot water tank has a proper draft to remove the products of combustion and does not generate potentially harmful levels of carbon monoxide (CO). 
  • Check the operation of the thermocouple - This is a safety device that makes sure that the hot water tank will light safely.
  • Flush tank - The water heater's storage tank should be flushed of sediments at least every six months. The process involves draining all of the water from the tank to get rid of sediments, then running water through the tank to flush it clear.
  • Insulate tank - Much heat energy can be lost as water in the unit's storage tank cools before being used. As an optional service, your technician can insulate the tank with a specially made jacket to reduce this wasteful heat loss.

With more than 75 years in the HVAC industry, P. K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling is one of greater Cleveland and northeast Ohio's premier sources of home comfort services. Contact us today for more information on water heater maintenance or to schedule a professional maintenance call.


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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: thermostat, carbon monoxide, hot water heaters

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