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3 Things to Check during an Annual Water Heater Inspection

Water heaters are easy to forget for any homeowner if hot water is running throughout the house. However, water heaters can quickly cause many headaches for homeowners, and can leak or explode, with the need for water damage cleanup services. Inspecting the following 3 things on an annual basis will help to keep your water heater working and minimize the chance of costly repairs:

T&P Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure, or T&P, relief valve is the valve that is located on the side or at the top of the tank. This valve opens to release water from the tank when the pressure is too high inside the water heater. This valve is extremely important and should be checked twice a year. It will eventually start to leak as it wears out so replace it when you notice water on the threads of the valve. Test the valve by turning it to the option position for a few seconds to make sure that it will release hot water.


Water contains minerals that will eventually build up in the bottom of your water heater tank. These minerals form sediment that can interfere with the water heater functions. If you have well water, your sediment may increase faster than systems that are on filtered city water systems. The buildup of sediment forces the water heater to work harder to get the water to a certain temperature. Draining your tank during your annual inspection, and removing all the sediment inside, is crucial to keeping your water heater safe.

Rust in Tank

When you add water to steel you are going to have to rust. However, your water heater has a special piece of metal known as the anode rod that is designed to rust before your actual water tank. The anode rod can be anywhere between 3-5 feet long and will need to be replaced about every 5 years. Remember that your anode rod is supposed to be rusty and deteriorate during your annual inspection.

Doing these 3 things during your annual water heater inspection will keep your water heater running smoothly and will decrease the likelihood of an emergency water situation where water damage cleanup would be needed. If your water heater does end up causing water damage in your home, the specialists at ServiceMaster of Charleston will be sure to provide water damage cleanup services to ensure that your home is safe and sound.