Water Heater Maintenance

Since I’ve begun my role here at Kent Homes, it has become a constant education in home buying, building and above all, maintenance.

Prior taking on this position, the only thing I knew for certain about the responsibilities of homeownership was to turn down the heat, and blow out all of the candles before leaving to prevent a fire.

In the past six months, I have come to realize that having a place to call home is unquestionably one of the biggest milestones in anyone’s life, yet what accompanies that are seasonal “to do” lists and day-to-day tasks that help to ensure you won’t have to spend more money down the road.

As my experience here continues, I have recently come across something that to me seemed highly overlooked and a machine that frankly, I knew absolutely nothing about.

The water heater-vital to everyday life, but once a mystery to me.

Located commonly in the garage or basement, the water heater is recommended to be tested every six months to ensure proper function and avoid mineral buildup.

An important component of your water heater is the pressure release valve (TPR valve) which opens to release pressure buildup in your water heater when the temperature or pressure becomes incredibly high.

When this valve does not work properly, your machine is at risk to burst, potentially causing damage through flooding.

As a future homeowner, the risk of a water heater bursting signaled a red flag for me.

Therefore, my hope is that everyone can gather some value in this quick maintenance, much like I did.

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Testing the valve:

Salt, rust and corrosion can cause the TPR valve to stop working. Once you have located the valve at the top of your water heater, quickly raise and lower the test lever five to ten times.

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If the valve is working properly, hot water should rush out of the end of the drain line. If there is no water that flows through the pipe, or you simply get a trickle, you know it is time to replace the valve, in which case you should call your local plumber.

After the test, make sure to keep an eye out for a possible leak. If this occurs, operate the test lever several times to free any dirt or debris that could prevent the valve from sealing properly.

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Being able to complete this quick test on a routine basis is a great skill set.

To me, it seems like a small price to pay for being able to enjoy a hot shower everyday!

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