As a homeowner, there are a few steps you can take to check your water heater for rust, leaks, and other issues:
- Inspect the exterior of the water heater: Check for any signs of corrosion, rust or leaks around the base of the tank. If you notice any of these issues, it may be a sign that your water heater needs to be replaced.
- Check the temperature and pressure relief valve: The temperature and pressure relief valve is an important safety feature of your water heater. It should be tested at least once a year to ensure that it is working properly. To test the valve, turn off the power to the water heater and lift the valve’s lever halfway up. If water comes out of the valve, then it is working properly.
- Inspect the anode rod: The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod that is designed to attract corrosion and rust away from the water heater’s tank. Over time, the anode rod can become depleted, which can lead to rust and corrosion in the tank. To inspect the anode rod, turn off the power to the water heater and remove the anode rod from the top of the tank. If the rod is more than 50% corroded, then it should be replaced.
- Check the water pressure: High water pressure can put stress on your water heater and cause leaks. To check the water pressure, attach a pressure gauge to a faucet or hose bib and turn on the water. The pressure should be between 40 and 60 psi.
- Flush the tank: Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can build up in the water heater’s tank, which can cause it to operate less efficiently and potentially lead to leaks. To flush the tank, turn off the power to the water heater and connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Open the valve and let the water drain out until it runs clear.
By following these steps, you can help ensure that your water heater is operating safely and efficiently. If you notice any major issues or concerns, it may be best to contact a licensed plumber or HVAC professional for further assistance.