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Easy Water Heater Maintenance Tips

A new hot water heater typically lasts between 8 to 12 years in a home. However, to reach its full life expectancy, a hot water heater must be properly maintained.

We have compiled water heater maintenance tips for electric hot water heaters in order to prolong the use of your water heater and also minimize disruptions to your hot water.

This is more specific to electric water heaters and not a gas unit but several items overlap. While a vast majority of the homes under management with Ameritex Property Management have electric water heaters, here is a great article to help determine if your unit is gas or electric.

Power Test

This is not necessarily a maintenance tip, but if you are experiencing issues with your hot water, the best place to start is the power supply.

  • Check to see if your water heater is properly plugged into the wall.
  • If connected to a GFCI plug or near a GFCI plug, look to ensure the plug is not tripped.
  • Additionally, check your electrical box to make sure there are no tripped breakers.

Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Water Heater Maintenance
Hot Water Heater Drain Valve

In order to prevent rust and corrosion at the bottom of the tank and improve the efficiency of the unit, it is recommended to flush the water heater tank at least once a year.

A mini-flush of the unit will usually suffice, and does not require shutting down the water heater. The steps to do a mini flush of the unit are as such:

  1. Place a bucket under the drain valve found near the bottom of the water heater tank. A hose can also be connected to that valve and led outside as well.
  2. Turn the valve counterclockwise to release 1 to 2 gallons from the water heater. This valve may have an actual knob handle or may require a flat head screwdriver to open and close the valve. Warning: The water will be very hot, so take caution and avoid contact with the water to prevent burning yourself.
    If you feel more comfortable turning the unit off and unplugging you, you may do so. However hot water heaters can retain temperature for a significant amount of time, so we always urge caution.
  3. Close the valve by turning it clockwise.

Test the T&P Valve

Water Heater Maintenance
T&P Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve, better known as the T&P valve, is a built-in safety feature for your water heater. This valve automatically opens and releases if it senses a dangerous level of built up pressure or high temperatures within the hot water heater.

The T&P valve is typically located on the top of the tank or on the side. Typically it will have a short discharge tube that extends downward from the valve and a small tab mechanism on the top of the valve, which releases the pressure.

In order to test this valve, follow these steps:

  1. Place a bucket below the discharge tube connected to the T&P valve.
  2. Lift up on the lever/tab of the valve to manually open it. This will release hot water through the discharge tube and into the bucket. Warning: The water will be very hot, so take caution and avoid contact with the water to prevent burning yourself.
  3. Let the water flow for a few short seconds, then let go of the lever. It should then snap back in place and shut off the flow of water.

If in either maintenance tasks, draining your water heater or testing the T&P valve, the water continues to flow or the valve doesn’t open and expel any water, please contact the Ameritex Property Management maintenance department.

In the case of constant flow of water from the water heater, contact the emergency maintenance line as soon as possible.

The maintenance tips provided above are generic and not specific to your particular unit. We do not accept responsibility for any incorrect maintenance performed, and it performed at your own risk.


Ameritex Property Management provides a variety of quality smart homes for rent throughout the State of Texas. We pride ourselves in providing unmatched customer service and a rental process that is convenient and transparent for our residents.

2 replies on “Easy Water Heater Maintenance Tips”

My water heater is already leaking, and that is why I’ve decided to look for an HVAC contractor that may address the matter. Well, I also agree with you that the water heater’s valve must be checked. Thank you for sharing the importance of regular maintenance.

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