Using a water heater to fuel a radiant flooring heating system is a great way to keep your home warm and cozy during the winter. If the water heater is not properly maintained, however, then the whole system might malfunction and leave you shivering. This article takes a look at some of the key maintenance tasks you can perform to keep your water heater functioning effectively.
Experts recommend that you drain your water heater annually. Sediment and minerals build up in the water over time and force your water heater to work harder than it would otherwise, which increases your utility bill. To drain the water, turn off the gas or electricity and connect a hose to the drainage valve on the bottom of the unit. Then turn off the supply line and turn the drainage valve on. When the water has drained, turn the supply line back on to fill the tank.
Check your water heater regularly to make certain that it's not leaking. Two of the most common locations on the tank where leaks can occur are the temperature and pressure release valve and the drainage valve. If you discover that either of these components are leaking, the problem might be that the temperature setting is too high. Make certain that the temperature is set on medium, or 120 degrees, and check for any new leaking. If the leaks continue, then the valves themselves might be failing. In this case, the malfunctioning valve or valves may need replacement.
A key part of your water heat is a long metal bar inside the tank called the anode rod. This rod extends the life of the unit by protecting it from rust. If the rod is not replaced when it's no longer useful, then your water heater could be severely damaged.
Anode rods usually have a hex head that is visible on the top of the tank. After turning the electricity or fuel off and draining out several gallons of water from the unit, unscrew the hex head and lift out the anode rod. If the rod has a diameter of less than 1/2 inch or is covered with coating of calcium, it will need to be replaced.
Even if a water heater is well maintained, problems can still develop that are beyond the abilities of the average homeowner to resolve. If your unit needs any significant repairs, contact a local plumber (like those at Aumenta Plumbing & Heating Co.) for assistance.