Here are some things you can do on your own however having a plumber periodically check your water heater is also an important part of maintenance.

Check your water heater temperature setting.

  • Check the temperature setting on your water heater. On a gas heater there will be a knob on the gas valve. On an electric water heater look for the thermostat behind a panel.
  • Keep the temperature between 115 to 120 degrees F.
  • By lowering the temperature setting you will protect the tank from overheating, protect your family from any scalding injuries and reduce the energy used to heat the water.

Check the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve.

  • This valve is critical to the safety and proper operation of your water heater.
  • Test the T&P valve by lifting upon the lever part way then let go and allow it to rapidly snap back.
  • You should hear a gurgling sound as the valve allows some water to be released into the drain tube.
  • If the T&P valve does nothing then it is bad and you need to contact a plumber to have it replaced.