How to Maintain Your Gas Water Heater

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,455
    Jim Connors from Rheem provides tips on how to maintain a gas water heater.

    Jim Connors: Hi! I'm Jim Connors from Rheem Water Heating. Today I'll be giving you some tips on how to maintain your gas water heater. Maintaining your water heater helps extend its life, improves energy efficiency and helps ensure its safe operation. Let's get started.

    For proper burner operation and ventilation make sure the air flow to the water heater is not obstructed. Always keep the area around your water heater free of debris, combustible materials or flammable liquids.

    Please note that water heater blankets are not recommended for gas water heaters. They can interfere with the gas valve and block air intake. Visually inspect your pilot light and burner through the side glass, your owner's manual should include information about what a proper combustion pattern should look like.

    Inspect venting periodically to make certain that connection from the water heater draft hood and the vent pipe is properly secured. Vent pipes maybe hot, so be sure to protect your hands. If vent connection need replacement due to corrosion turn off the water heater and move obstructions away from venting before starting.

    A water heater's tank can act as a sediment basin for solids normally suspended in the water. This sediment accumulation can coat the gas thermostat and decrease both the energy efficiency and life of your water heater. Consult your owner's manual about ways to eliminate the sediment buildup.

    One of the most effective ways is to drain a few gallons of the water from the bottom of the tank periodically, in areas with heavy sediment, it maybe necessary to do this every few months.

    First, shut off the water heater's incoming water supply and turn off the gas. Second, attach a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Direct the stream of water to a drain, and remember the water maybe scalding hot, so keep the hose away from children, adults and off the lawn.

    Open the drain valve and release a few gallons of water. Turn off the drain valve, disconnect the hose and open up the incoming water supply valve to refill the water heater.

    Remember to open the bathroom tap as the water heater refills to get any air out off the system. A steady flow of water indicates the tank is full. Turn the gas valve back on relight the pilot. Perform regularly; this is one of the best ways to maintain a water heater.

    Finally, remember to always consult your product owner's manual prior to getting started and take proper safety precautions when working on or around your water heater. Also consider consulting a plumbing professional before taking on any project.

    I hope these tips for maintaining your gas water heater have helped you.