It is important to maintain your water heater for efficiency, safety and the life of the unit. It is a fairly expensive and important piece of household equipment. Flushing out sediments and testing the pressure relief valve, plus other annual inspection duties should be performed according to the instructions in your manual for the unit. If after reading these instructions, you feel uncertain about performing this annual maintenance, hire a professional.
Tank water heaters, while usually very reliable, can have problems at times. They include:
If you have no hot water, you can get out your manual for the unit and follow the instructions to check the pilot light or follow other troubleshooting advice from the manufacturer for your unit. You may need to replace the thermocouple. Also check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. If your water heater is blowing fuses, call a professional.
If you have inadequate hot water, you may need to have a larger one installed. If you are experiencing some of the other problems above, and/or your water heater is over 10 years old, you may need to install a new hot water heater.
If you decide to troubleshoot any of the problems yourself, rather than call a professional, prepare safely by:
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