Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Water Heater maintenance Longview TX

Water heaters can last a long time, but they will last even longer with the proper maintenance. However, some people forget these kinds of things and end up having to replace their water heaters. You can hire a Longview, TX plumbing professional like Bird Dog Plumbing or do it yourself! The decision is up to you. We recommend a professional, but here are some water heater maintenance tips to help you if you choose to do it yourself. 

The water heater maintenance tips you see here apply for propane, electric, and natural gas heaters. Be sure to check that you don’t need a permit to replace your water heater. Also, have a plumber or electrical inspector check your work afterward for safety. 

The Parts and Breakdown

There is a surplus of tools and equipment involved with replacing a water heater. A few are a cold water shutoff valve, an overflow pipe, and insulation. A full list of what you’ll need, including these items, can be found below:

  • Flue pipe
  • Coldwater shutoff valve
  • Draft diverter
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve
  • Overflow pipe
  • Hot water outlet
  • Anti Corrosion Anode Rod
  • Dip tube
  • Elements
  • Insulation
  • Drain valve
  • Thermostat or control valve
  • Burner
  • Thermocouple
  • Gas supply valve

When should you get a new water heater?

Leaking is the lead indicator that your water heater has bit the dust and needs replacing. Leaks often appear as slow dripping or a trail of rusty water. The rusty water means the steel tank has rusted through and is beyond the point of no return. Another problem, like little or no hot water, signifies an issue in water heaters that can be fixed. Be ready for a water heater replacement if you find a drip. You should not wait until the leak gets worse.

Safety Tips 

You should keep plastic at least 6 inches away from the vent and tank because there is a potential buildup of heat.

Be very cautious when doing a project like this because you will be working with natural gas, propane, or electricity. If you don’t feel entirely comfortable doing the work yourself, you should contact a professional like Bird Dog Plumbing.

Making Your Work Faster and Easier

The following are a few tips that will make your DIY replacement a faster and more manageable project. 

  • You should measure the height of your current water heater and buy one that is the same height. This way, you won’t have to change the length of any gas or water lines.
  • Turn your water heater off two hours before you start working on it. Turning off your water allows the system to cool down, so it’s not scalding hot while working on it. 
  • You should have a helper or a dolly handy to move the old heater out and bring in the new one. They are about 150lbs each. 
  • Have your tools and supplies ready to go before you start. You can buy them at a plumbing store, hardware store, or home center. 
  • Solder copper fittings before you screw them to the tank when connecting water lines, so you don’t heat the tank trying to solder them after you screw them on. 
  • Strap the heater to the wall with special straps from a plumbing store or home center if you live in an earthquake-prone area. Your plumber will tell you if they’re required.

Although this isn’t a guide to replacing your water heater, we hope it helps you make some choices before the replacement process. If you need more information, contact Bird Dog Plumbing in Longview, TX! Our experts can point you in the right direction or even do the replacement for you if you decide you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.