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After a long day in the office there is nothing more soothing than climbing into a hot shower and allowing the hot water to wash away the stress of the day. If your water heater breaks, however, your long day is about to get just that much longer and without a hot shower to boot! There are several key maintenance items that homeowners can do in order to avoid the need for water heater repairs.

Evaluate the Condition of Your Tank

The first thing that you should do before you are headed for a water heater repair job is to evaluate the condition of your water heaters tank. The average homeowner gives very little thought to their water tank until something goes wrong while it is great to have that feeling of being able to rely on a system, the reality is that every water tank can prove to have any number of things wrong with it over the course of time.

How old is your water heater? Was it already installed when you moved into your home several years ago? There are very good odds that your water heater is the original unit that was installed when your home was built. With this in mind you should take a look at the outside of your water heater; are there any visible signs of corrosion? Does the water heater appear to be at all lopsided? Are there visible watermarks running down the sides of the tank? Check around the bottom of the water tank for visible signs of leaking water.

Any of these signs could be demonstrative of an imminent failure and should be taken very seriously.

Sediment Buildup

All of the water that enters into your water heater holds within it some form of naturally occurring minerals; when the water is heated, these minerals separate and sink to the bottom of the water heaters tank. While this is an expected part of the water heating process, over the course of time, it can turn into a situation where your water heater repair job is simply going to be too late. When the sediment on the bottom of the tank heats up it can cause the bottom part of the tank to warp and even buckle; another side effect that may be noticed, especially in the case of a gas water heater, is that the water is taking a lot longer to heat up once the tank has been drained.

Temperature Control

Remember that the temperature of your water is adjustable to your preference; it should be hot enough to safely destroy any potential bacteria that could be in the water and yet not so hot that the water causes second degree burns on anyone who runs their hand under the hot water. If you have noticed that your waters temperature does not seem to mesh with the adjusted setting on the tank then you may want to consider making time for a water heater repair call. A discrepancy in temperature could be indicative of several other problems.

Keep in mind that a great deal of care and caution should be taken when dealing with electricity, gas, and the hot temperatures that water heaters can produce. If you have any doubts about the safety of your water heater you should not hesitate to reach out to a professional who can get the job done for you: without danger and without a mess!