How to Properly Maintain and Care For a Water Heater

Like any household appliance, an electric water heater needs regular maintenance. In this case, you should strictly follow the instructions for use of the device. Otherwise, it may fail. Let’s take a closer look at how to maintain a water heater, and what should be taken into account during operation.

Basic rules for using the water heater

A good quality water heater can last up to 15 years if properly used.

The basic rules for water heater maintenance are as follows:

  1. Before using the device, you should carefully read the instructions from the manufacturer. Each device has its own operating characteristics.
  2. An electric water heater is a sensitive device and should be serviced regularly.
  3. During water heating, you cannot turn on the temperature to the maximum value. This mode of operation can reduce the functionality of the heating element. The device will work at maximum performance for no more than 6 months. When the water temperature is turned on to the maximum, there is a high probability of getting a burn if a pipe or hose leaks.
  4. It is not worth turning off the water heater if the shutdown is planned for a short time, for example, for a day or two. At the same time, energy savings will be minimal, and the wear and tear of equipment will not justify it.
  5. If you will not be using the heater for a long time, disconnect it from the mains, but do not drain the water. Otherwise, the tank will quickly become rusty. Before further use, first drain the water, rinse the tank, fill with new water and turn it on at full power. The temperature is maintained for at least 2 hours.

What is the maintenance of the water heater?

Heating element in electric water heaters need regular maintenance. It is as follows:

  • at least once every 6 months, completely drain the water from the device;
  • remove the heating element from the case and carefully inspect, if there is limescale on the heating element, it should be cleaned;
  • when dissolving the magnesium anode on the heating element, replace it, the anode should be replaced once a year, if the water is hard, the new element will have to be replaced more often.

How to carry out preventive work?

Preventive work – timely cleaning of the water heater and other necessary technical actions. Such measures will help extend the life of the device.

The most common problems that need constant monitoring include:

  • Corrosion is one of the most common and dangerous problems. In order to protect the tank from corrosive deposits, anodes are installed. When interacting with water and the elements contained in it, they cause corrosion. Anodes have a certain service life and at the end of this period they should be replaced.
  • Another problem with electrical appliances is scale. With a large accumulation of plaque in the water heater, the water heater begins to function worse. First, it starts to consume more electricity. Secondly, a large number of bacteria multiply rapidly in such sediments. They significantly reduce water quality. A problem can be signaled by a knock in the device during its operation. It is better not to use the water heater until the problem is fixed, otherwise it will fail completely. To protect the device from the appearance of scale, which is caused by hard water, use special water softeners or elements to remove calcium and magnesium bicarbonates. Magnetic polarizers are also very popular, which absorb calcium and magnesium salts contained in hard water before it enters the tank.
  • Stray currents are another problem that affects the stable operation of the device. In addition, they can be dangerous to humans, so the device must be properly grounded. To protect against stray currents, you can create a ground loop.

Every user of electric water heaters should know that the device requires regular disassembly, cleaning of parts related to the category of consumables.

How to properly drain the water heater?

Correctly draining water from the water heater is one of the important stages of preventive work. There are three ways to do this, the choice depends on the type of water heater:

  • The device has a tee with a tap, which is located between the branch pipe and the safety valve. In this case, the flow of water is shut off, the tap opens, and excess water is removed.
  • A lever can be installed on the safety valve, which regulates the access of running water. For more convenient drainage of water, a hose is connected to the lever. Water will flow through it into a container prepared in advance. The process takes a lot of time, since the water pressure is small.
  • A faster way is to unscrew the safety valve. This is done counterclockwise. The pressure in this case will be strong, therefore it is recommended to connect a hose through which the water will flow into the container.

If the valve is unscrewed and water does not flow, the hot water supply system should be disconnected.

How to disassemble a water heater?

To start carrying out technical work, you need to understand how to disassemble the water heater . The water heater should be serviced in several stages:

  1. The first thing to do is to disconnect the device from the mains. Then you can drain the water from it. If the water heater was running at full speed, it is worth letting the water cool slightly to avoid accidental burns.
  2. Next, remove the check valve. It can interfere with the disassembly of the water heater.
  3. Unscrew the screws securing the cover. We remove it.
  4. It is better to photograph the electrical circuit under the cover. This will help to avoid difficulties during further assembly of the device.
  5. Further, the payment for the operation of the water heater and thermal protection is removed. The nuts of the bracket responsible for grounding are unscrewed. They should be carefully protected from moisture. After removing the elements, a hole is formed. It should be shut up.
  6. The last step is to remove the thermostat from the flange sleeve. To do this, you must sharply pull it down. If the power wires interfere with this work, unscrew them in advance. Dismantle the thermostat with extreme caution, as it may be covered with limescale. Rough handling can damage the element.

In some cases, it is necessary to dismantle both the internal and external water heater control board.

Installation of heating elements

After removing the heating element, it must be descaled. This can be done with a warm solution of citric acid or vinegar.

After that, it is necessary to replace the anode and install the element back. In this case, you must not use force when installing the elements. This can deform the seat or push the seal out. This will result in leakage.

Further, in the reverse order, the assemblies of the electric water heater are assembled.

Having connected the nozzles of the device to the cold and hot water supply line, it should be filled with liquid. To remove excess air from the tank, open the hot water tap on the mixer. After filling the tank completely, check the waterproofing of the place where leakage can occur – the pipe connection and the flange seal.

IMPORTANT! The appliance can only be plugged in with a full tank. Otherwise, the storage elements may fail.

Do not forget that regular and timely maintenance and care of the water heater guarantees its stable and long-term operation.