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There are many things we take for granted as we go about our busy daily lives and it’s easy to forget just how much we’re dependent on our hot water system. Most of us will only appreciate it when the system fails. As Murphy’s Law would have it, the hot water tank will go bust on the coldest Sunday morning of the year, when there are no available plumbers to call.

Luckily, there are things you can do to avoid this scenario. Like any other part of your home, regular maintenance will do the trick. Effectively done, it can prolong your tank’s lifespan up to double or triple than originally stated.

Here are several steps to take to ensure safe and proper functioning of your hot water system.

Search for cracks or wearing

A good habit to adopt is checking your hot water tank every month, from top to bottom. You need to inspect it thoroughly and look for cracks, leakage or wearing. It won’t take more than five minutes of your time but it will save you a lot of unnecessarily wasted water, money and nerves. If you don’t inspect it regularly and let problems pile up, your tank will simply come to a halt and leave you and your family in a pickle.

Turn the system off in your absence

If you’re planning a holiday or a business trip longer than two weeks, it’s a smart and preventive move to turn off the hot water system. If you leave it on, it will continue to heat water even if nobody is using it and this will only shorten its lifespan and build up your gas or electricity bill.

Flush the tank

Removing the sediment from the bottom of your tank is an important step in preventing rust and corrosion, and it also helps keep it energy-efficient. The best thing to do is flush the whole tank but that can take quite a lot of time and it requires the whole system to be shut down. So, you might just go for a mini-flush which can be done while the system is still operating. It takes very little time and all you need to do is put a bucket under the drain valve, open it counterclockwise and let several gallons of water run out. When you’re finished, just make sure you close the valve tightly by turning it clockwise.

Check the relief valve

One of the critical safety features of your tank is the temperature and pressure relief valve. It’s designed to sense a dangerous pressure buildup or temperature rise inside the tank and it automatically opens to relieve the pressure and stabilise it. Without it, the tank would be at a risk of exploding. To be on the safe side, it’s highly recommended to install a premium expansion tank and have the valve tested every six months.

Get annual professional service

The best advice you can get is not to postpone the work you can do today for tomorrow. In other words, don’t wait until you have a serious problem to call in the pros. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying enormous service and repair bills. The best you can do is make arrangements with your local plumber to have your hot water system inspected once a year at least, as they will be able to spot any potential problem before it becomes a real problem.

To keep things running smoothly and efficiently, regular maintenance is the key. Even just a little maintenance can go a long way in reducing the number of repairs and it will surely help in extending the life of your hot water system. However, even the best maintenance can’t help if you have a bad product so the first step to take is to purchase a tank of top quality. It will ensure its longevity and protect your investment.