Perform routine water heater maintenance every six months to ensure proper functionality, long service life and, of course, avoid unnecessary money expenses.


To accomplish the task “MAINTENANCE OF GAS AND ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS” , you will not need very sophisticated tools, at least in most cases:

  • Bucket.
  • Garden hose.
  • Gloves
  • Protective goggles

Heater maintenance planning

Electric and gas water heaters have a safety device called a pressure relief valve. In case the tank is overpressurized, the relief valve opens and releases the pressure. If the valve is not working properly, the tank may over-pressure and explode.

To control the pressure valve

pressure valve heater


Always wear gloves, goggles and protective clothing when servicing your water heater.

Step 1. Disconnect the electricity from the water heater or turn the gas switch to the pilot.

Step 2. Close the cold water inlet of the water heater.

step 3. Position the bucket so that it collects water from the pressure relief valve.

Step 4. Pull the valve lever. You should hear a slight breath of air or see some water and steam coming out of the pressure relief valve. Otherwise, drain the tank and replace the valve.

Wash the tank every six months

The accumulation of sediment in the tank can reduce the energy efficiency of your water heater and also block water lines. Avoid these problems and extend the life of your unit by washing or rinsing the tank whenever you check the pressure relief valve.

With these simple six-month maintenance procedures, your heater will continue to operate safely and efficiently for years.

To wash the tank

Step 1. Disconnect the electricity from the water heater or turn the gas switch to the pilot.

Step 2. Close the cold water inlet of the water heater.

step 3. Connect a garden hose to the tank drain valve.

Step 4. Place the end of the hose in a location that will not be damaged by hot water.

Step 5. With the pressure relief valve open, open the drain valve and let the tank drain completely. Completely draining the tank ensures that you have removed as much sediment as possible.

Step 6. Close the tank drain valve, disconnect the hose from the valve and close the pressure relief valve.

Step 7. Open all hot water taps in the house and connect the cold water inlet to the tank.

Step 8. Turn off all hot water taps when the water starts to come out. After closing all the taps, connect the electricity or turn on the gas switch to finish this water heater maintenance phase.

Gas water heaters – pilot ignition

Step 1. A newly installed gas water heater will have some air in the gas line. It may take several attempts to light the pilot. (In addition, make sure that the gas supply valve is open.)

Step 2. Some brands of gas water heaters have an advanced gas valve with an LED indicator. If the pilot light is on and the unit is operating normally, the red LED will flash every three seconds.

step 3. The first time a gas water heater is turned on, it produces condensation. You can hear the sound of dripping or see a small puddle of water in the drain pan. Condensation is normal and will disappear as soon as the water heater reaches normal operating temperature.

Electric water heaters: before connecting electricity

Step 1. The most common problem With electric water heaters, this occurs when the power is turned on before the tank is completely filled with water. If this happens, the upper heater will burn and you will have no hot water (until the upper heater is replaced). After installing the water heater, open the hot water tap fully and let the hot water run for three minutes. This will ensure that all air has been removed and the tank is completely filled with water.

Step 2. If you do not have hot water after two hours, check that the unit is receiving the correct voltage. Refer to the unit label for power requirements. Lack of electrical power or the wrong voltage causes many problems with electric water heaters. An electrician may be needed to resolve electrical or wiring problems.

Heater maintenance leaks and drips

Step 1. Most leaks are caused by faulty water supply connections. Use quality materials and appropriate techniques and carefully monitor your work. Compression connectors are easier to use for DIYers compared to copper brazing tubes and will make it easier to maintain your water heater without the intervention of outside professionals.

Step 2. Leakage in the discharge line of the temperature and pressure relief valve generally means that a heat expansion tank is required.