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Maintain water heater to maintain hot water

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“Just like other valuable in-home equipment, your water heater needs proper maintenance to run well,” urges Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin for 73 years.

Holding gallons of readily available hot water for bathing and cooking, traditional tank water heaters can collect minerals and sediment, and should be drained periodically.  However, Eppers cautions homeowners to check the water heater’s valve first before attempting to drain:

“If the water heater is an economy model with a plastic valve, it may not re-seal well after draining, which could create leakage problems.  Some higher-grade water heaters have features that handle sediment,” he says.  Other water heaters may be equipped with professional grade valves that could be easily opened and closed.

According to Angie’s List, some experts recommend draining the water heater tank once a year, while others suggest draining one quart of water every three months to remove any sediment that “slows down heat transfer and lowers efficiency.”  Follow the advice on your manufacturer’s owner’s manual for specific maintenance instructions.

If you’re unsure how to maintain your water heater, Eppers offers preventative maintenance service, which some customers schedule along with annual furnace maintenance to extend the lifespan of their equipment.

Maintenance aims to avoid the top problems of water heaters, including a lack of hot water, hot water running out too quickly, or a noisy or leaking unit.  Calling a service professional is often the safest solution.  Professionals can also assess if your unit is large enough to accommodate hot water demands, which can change as a family grows. Angie’s List estimates that an average 50-gallon tank water heater costs between $795 to $2,800.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/

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