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The Basics of Water Heater Maintenance

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JTM Plumbing specializes in water heater repair, as well as offers full-service water heater installation

With winter fast approaching, now is the time to see if your water heater is in good working order. Water heaters are often overlooked in our daily lives, but a little bit of preventative maintenance can prolong its life and increase its efficiency. Checking your water heater can easily be incorporated into your general fall maintenance or winter-proofing schedule. Some signs that your water heater might need to be fixed includes: rust on the tank or in the water, noises, leaks, or the obvious failure to heat water. If your water heater isn’t showing any signs of distress, here’s how you can help maintain its efficiency:

Turn down the temperature setting

You’ll save up to 5% in energy costs for every 10-degrees you lower the temperature as well as reduce the risk of scalding. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a temperature of 120-degrees Fahrenheit not only for cost-savings but to avoid burns, especially for children. Find out more about water heater temperature settings here.

Reduce Your Use

Reduce water use by taking shorter showers, fixing faucet and shower leaks, and replacing out-of-date wash machines and dishwashers with Energy Star models.Keep the Unit ClearAlways maintain 2 feet of clearance around the appliance unless the manual specifically states otherwise. Remove sediment and debris from the tank by turning off the cold water supply, hooking up a garden hose to the drain valve, and then running it into a bucket until the water is clear. This also makes the unit operate more quietly.

Test the Valve

Annually test the temperature-pressure relief valve by quickly discharging it two or three times. After testing, keep an eye out for small leaks from the valve.


Newer units are usually already insulated, but if your water heater is older, try insulating with a fiberglass jacket (be careful to avoid contact with the flue). You should also insulate the hot and cold water pipes. The professional team of plumbers at JTM Plumbing in Gretna is experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable about not only the latest plumbing technology but also the local community and our long-term clients’ needs. Do you need to repair or replace your water heater in time for winter?

JTM Plumbing specializes in water heater repair, as well as offers full-service water heater installation, customized to the individual needs of each of our customers. There’s usually little warning when it comes to water heater repair, so keep our number, 402-203-6193, handy for quick service!

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