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A water heater is a vital component of any home, providing a consistent supply of hot water for daily activities such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Regular maintenance is essential to maintain the efficiency and longevity of your water heater. Jilly Plumbing, a leading provider of top-notch plumbing services in the San Antonio metro area, offers expert guidance on the essential water heater maintenance practices to keep your system running optimally and extend its lifespan.

Armed with these expert tips from Jilly Plumbing, homeowners can confidently care for and maintain their water heaters, ensuring optimal performance, energy efficiency, and an extended lifespan.

For professional assistance with water heater maintenance, repairs, or replacements, you can trust the licensed and certified plumbers at Jilly Plumbing to deliver exceptional results tailored to your specific needs. Reach out to us to keep your water heater in top condition for years to come.

Regularly Drain and Flush the Tank

Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank, leading to reduced efficiency, corrosion, and potential damage. Draining and flushing your water heater tank annually helps remove these impurities, improves the system’s performance, and extends the lifespan of your unit.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to drain and flush your water heater tank:

  1. Turn off the power supply (for electric heaters) or set the gas valve to “pilot” (for gas heaters).
  2. Turn off the cold water supply valve feeding the tank.
  3. Open a hot water faucet in your home to allow air into the system.
  4. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and place the other end of the hose in a safe place for disposing of the hot water, such as a drain or outside area.
  5. Open the drain valve and allow the water to flow out of the tank until it runs clear.
  6. Once the water is clear, close the drain valve and remove the garden hose.
  7. Turn on the cold water supply valve to refill the tank.
  8. When water starts running through the open hot water faucet in your home, close the faucet.
  9. Turn the power supply back on (for electric heaters) or adjust the gas valve to its original setting (for gas heaters).

Inspect and Replace the Anode Rod

The anode rod is an essential component of your water heater that helps prevent corrosion in the tank. It’s made of magnesium or aluminum and attracts corrosive elements in the water, sacrificing itself to protect your water heater’s interior. Checking your anode rod every couple of years and replacing it when necessary can greatly prolong the life of your water heater.

To inspect and replace the anode rod, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power supply (for electric heaters) or set the gas valve to “pilot” (for gas heaters).
  2. Turn off the cold water supply valve feeding the tank.
  3. Release some pressure from the tank by opening a hot water faucet in your home.
  4. Locate the anode rod, which is typically accessible from the top of your water heater.
  5. Use a wrench to remove the anode rod, taking note of its condition.
  6. If the anode rod is heavily corroded or visibly depleted, replace it with a new one.
  7. Tighten the new anode rod in place and restore the power supply and cold water valve.

Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve is a crucial safety component that helps prevent your water heater from overheating or building up excess pressure. It’s essential to test the TPR valve at least once a year to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

To test the TPR valve, follow these steps:

  1. Place a bucket under the TPR valve discharge pipe or direct the pipe toward a floor drain.
  2. Carefully lift the valve’s lever to release some water, then release the lever.
  3. Observe if the valve releases water or not and if it closes when the lever is released.
  4. If the TPR valve fails to release water, is leaking, or doesn’t close properly, it may be time to replace it.

Adjust the Thermostat for Energy Efficiency

Lowering your water heater’s thermostat can help save energy and reduce the risk of scalding. Many water heaters are factory-set at 140°F, but a setting of 120°F is sufficient for most households and can reduce energy consumption by up to 5%.

Insulate the Tank and Pipes

Insulating your water heater tank and hot water pipes can significantly reduce heat loss and save energy. Use a water heater blanket or insulation kit, available at most home improvement stores, for the tank and foam pipe insulation for the pipes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

Schedule Routine Professional Inspections

In addition to performing these essential maintenance tasks, scheduling routine professional inspections can further ensure your water heater’s optimal performance and longevity. Expert plumbers can identify and address potential problems, provide maintenance recommendations, and ensure that your water heater remains safe and efficient.


Proactive maintenance of your water heater is essential in ensuring optimal performance, prolonging its life, and maximizing energy efficiency. By following these expert maintenance tips from Jilly Plumbing, homeowners can protect their water heater investments and safeguard their home’s comfort and convenience.

Contact Jilly Plumbing to schedule your next water heater maintenance service or consultation with our expert team regarding your San Antonio home’s specific plumbing requirements. Let our professionals assist you in keeping your water heater functioning effectively and reliably for years to come. If you’re in need of water heater repair in San Antonio, reach out to our licensed and certified plumbers for exceptional service tailored to your unique needs.

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