I’ve always heard that if you maintain your water heater, it will last longer. What does that mean? – Allison from Louisiana

Performing simple routine maintenance on your water heater can make it last longer and keep small problems from turning into big ones. Check all the pipe connections and valves for leaks once a month. On gas models, be sure the vent pipe is properly installed and there are no obstructions. Every year open the pressure relief valve on top of the tank for a few seconds to be sure hot water comes out of the overflow pipe. Finally, periodically drain a bucket of water from the faucet at the bottom of the water heater to remove any sediment buildup.

For more information, see our article on Water Heater Maintenance.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Hi , I own a RARITAN 12gal hot water , the pressure valve keeps leaking ,I have tryed everything to stop it leaking , now i want to change the valve , But the valve will not move, what can i do to remove it or is there a trick to this! can you help

    • Hi Charlie,
      Assuming that it’s a standard threaded valve, you should be able to unscrew it with a pipe wrench by turning it counter clockwise. If that doesn’t work, you could try squirting a little lubricant around the threads and letting it soak for a while. Just be careful not to get any of it inside the tank when you remove the valve. You can find more information in our article on How to Repair a Leaking Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve.

  2. MY HOT WATER HEATER MAKES A TINY EXPLOSION EVERYTIME THE PILOT IGNITES AND IT STARTS TO HEAT THE WATER. WHY IS IT MAKING THAT HORRIBLE NOISE? IT SCARES THE DAYLIGHT OUT OF ME.
    THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

  3. Danny: Good tips on extending water heater life. However, I think the very most important thing is to inspect the anode rod and to replace it if it is corroded too much. You might want to tell your folks why this is important and explain how to do it.

  4. I’ve watched your videos and read instructions on draining the water tank partially or all the way, attaching a hose. These instructions state the need to turn off the gas line to the tank. In this video [https://todayshomeowner.com/video/water-heater-maintenance-2/] the instruction is to drain a bucket worth of water occasionally but doesn’t mention the need to turn off the gas (or electrical power) to the heater. For simplicity of home maintenance, I would prefer to drain a bucket now and then in order to not bother with the pilot light, if that truly is safe to do. Is it?

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