3 Important Water Heater Maintenance Tasks Every Homeowner Can Perform

The holidays are here! And with them comes cooler weather and more need than ever for reliably hot water. Most water heaters should last between 8 and 12 years if properly maintained. In this post, we’ll take a look at some simple ways you can keep your water heater running strong for years to come. Before you get started on water heater maintenance, make sure to turn off the power (for electric heaters) or the gas!


One simple way to maintain your water heater is by occasionally flushing the tank. This can be done as what’s called a “mini-flush” which enables you to leave the heater running the whole time. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Put a bucket underneath the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
  2. Turn the valve counterclockwise and allow a gallon or two of water to drain into the bucket. Caution: It could be VERY hot!
  3. Close the valve. You’re already done!

These simple steps will help reduce rust and corrosion from building up in your tank.


The T&P (temperature and pressure) valve is a safety feature that relieves pressure on the tank if it gets too high. This malfunctioning could be a real danger, so testing the valve annually is recommended. Find the valve on the top or side of the tank, then:

  1. Put a bucket at the end of the discharge line.
  2. Lift the lever to open the valve, thus releasing water into the tube. Again – the water will be hot!
  3. Let it flow for a few seconds, then let go, which will cut off the water.


Turn down the water temperature a few degrees. This shouldn’t impact your comfort, and could mean big savings on energy! If yours is set higher than 120, here’s how to dial it down:

  1. Turn off the power at the breaker box.
  2. Remove the thermostat panel (may need a screwdriver) and adjust the temp.
  3. Replace the panel and turn the power back on.

If you see two thermostats, set the lower one the same as the upper one.


Easy, right? If you do have issues with your water heater – or maybe are considering a tankless model – call The Bosworth Company for a water heater maintenance appointment at 432-570-5233 or schedule an appointment online. The Bosworth Company. Worth the Call. Always.