Published 2 Dec 2022
What is Water Heater Maintenance?
Water heater maintenance is the regular preventive maintenance of water heaters used for commercial and residential buildings. Conducted by contractors, facility managers, and homeowners using checklists, water heater maintenance keeps energy consumption efficient, prolongs the optimal working condition of water heaters, and promotes safety by proactively catching issues before accidents can occur.
Use this water heater maintenance checklist to help ensure that the maintenance is done safely and correctly. Professional service providers, contractors, facility managers, and homeowners can help prolong the good working condition of water heaters by following these maintenance steps. Capture photos of issues found and note corrective actions taken.
Edit this template in SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) if needed to fit the needs of your maintenance checks. Feel free to download this water heater maintenance checklist as PDF if you prefer but we do recommend the digital version for you to experience the advantages of using this checklist on the SafetyCulture app.
Accidents involving heating equipment caused thousands of home fires and millions in damages. Conducting regular water heater maintenance can help prevent these and other types of accidents involving water heaters from happening.
In this article
- The Dangers of Neglecting Water Heater Maintenance
- How Often Should it Be Maintained?
- What is a Water Heater Maintenance Checklist?
- Powerful Tool for Effective Water Heater Maintenance
- Water Heater Maintenance Checklist and Related Templates
The Dangers of Neglecting Water Heater Maintenance
For gas-fired water heaters, fatal accidents can occur if water heaters are not regularly checked for issues such as potential gas leaks. As for heaters with tanks, they have safety features that allow excess temperature and pressure to escape when there’s too much buildup. But if these safety features are not properly checked by professionals who make sure they are still in good working condition, tank explosions can happen.
Water heaters can usually last for a decade without any maintenance. Conducting regular maintenance, however, can help extend the good working condition of water heaters and help discover issues that could’ve gone unnoticed due to neglect. Water heaters with tanks can have sediment buildup over time, especially in areas where hard water is more common and this sediment buildup will negatively affect the efficiency of energy spent on heating water.
How Often Should it Be Maintained?
For industrial or commercial water heaters, annual maintenance is ideal while every six months is recommended for home use. Consider doing the maintenance during autumn just before the water gets colder and needs more warmth from heaters to reach the desired temperature. Also, if hard water is used in your area, water heater maintenance should be done more often in order to properly flush and drain the tank in order to remove mineral buildup and formed sediments.
During the maintenance, it is crucial to check any manufacturer’s warnings and follow the maintenance checklist intended for your water heater. By heeding the warnings and following the recommended steps on the checklist, you can help ensure that the maintenance is done safely and correctly.
What is a Water Heater Maintenance Checklist?
Used by professional service providers or contractors, facility managers, and homeowners, a water heater maintenance checklist serves as a guide on what to do and what to check during water heater maintenance.
This water heater maintenance checklist is broken down into 5 steps:
- Turn off the water heater
Prevent scalding and other water heater-related injuries by turning off the heater and allowing the water to cool down overnight before performing the maintenance check.
- Check the valves and look for possible leaks on pipes and joints
Check the Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valve following the manufacturer’s recommendations on its label. Check the water pressure valve and make sure that it shows the recommended water pressure (40-60 psi in the daytime).
A useful tip when looking for possible leaks: apply soapy water on pipes and pipe joints and bubbles will appear should there be a leak.
- Flush any sediment buildup
Connect a hose to the drain valve before you begin draining and flushing out sediment buildup. Eliminating sediment buildup will help with water heating efficiency and prolong the good working condition of the water heater.
- Check the anode rod and replace if needed
An anode rod’s purpose is to protect the water heater lining and the inside of a tank from damage and corrosion. Anode rods need to be checked during maintenance to ensure that they have not corroded yet. Depending on factors such as the hardness of the water and how much water goes through the water heater, an anode rod may need to be replaced every 3-5 years.
- Refill the water heater tank
Refill the tank by closing the drain valve and opening the cold water supply valve. Open a hot water faucet and let the water out for around 3-5 minutes to make sure that there’s no air remaining in the tank before you turn the heater back on.
Please note that it is important to check the manufacturer’s instructions on the use and maintenance of the heater and that it is advisable to get a professional who is familiar with conducting water heater maintenance if you are not comfortable doing it on your own.
Powerful Tool for Effective Water Heater Maintenance
SafetyCulture is a powerful inspection app that can help professional technicians, facility managers, and homeowners effectively use water heater maintenance checklists during regular water heater maintenance. With water heater maintenance checklists on the SafetyCulture app, you can do the following:
Proactive Water Heater Maintenance
- Select which dates to conduct maintenance and you will receive notifications as a reminder when the next schedule is due
- Be aware if a scheduled maintenance was skipped
- Take photos of issues and be guided on what action to take
- Make notes to better describe the nature of the issue found during maintenance checks
- All maintenance and inspections are automatically saved in cloud-based recordkeeping for your convenience and security
- Maintenance reports can be generated on the spot and sent to intended recipients via weblink or PDF
Streamline Water Heater Maintenance Jobs
- Business owners and contractors, you can assign inspection jobs, automate the collection of reports from multiple jobs, and analyze trends.
- Integrate SafetyCulture with other platforms and systems used in your organization to streamline water heater maintenance and other maintenance checks for HVAC, plumbing, pressure vessel, pumps, furnace, and more.
Water Heater Maintenance Checklist and Related Templates
This boiler inspection checklist is used for inspecting oil or gas-fired boilers before issuance of certification. Ensure boiler safety by selecting Safe, At Risk, or N/A during the inspection. Use this in SafetyCulture and do the following:
- Check the internal parts of the boiler including combustion chamber, brickwork, insulation, fire water tubes, burner nozzle, etc.
- Inspect external boiler parts, identify programmer, and input dates of the most recent 150% hydro, combustion tuning, and waterside inspection.
- Assess the operational capacity of gas boilers, fuel oil boilers, and all the other boilers used in a facility.
- Evaluate boiler efficiency by noting their oxygen level, CO2 level, and stack temperature, among others.
This complete furnace maintenance checklist can be used by professional furnace inspectors and property managers for general inspections and identify a furnace’s repair and maintenance needs. It provides pointers for cleaning, changing of disposable filters, and items to inspect to ensure that the furnace is in good condition.