Tips for Optimal Performance- Gas Water Heater Maintenance

Gas water heaters are essential appliances that provide hot water for various purposes. To ensure optimal performance, regular maintenance is crucial. A gas water heater is an essential household appliance that provides hot water for showers, laundry, and dishwashing. Regular maintenance can help prolong the life of your water heater and ensure that it functions safely and efficiently.

If you have a gas water heater and want to ensure its optimal performance, regular maintenance is key. Here are some tips to help you maintain your gas water heater and keep it running efficiently. 

Tips for Best Gas Water Heater Maintenance

  1. Insulate your Water Heater: 

Adding insulation can reduce heat loss by up to 45 percent and save up to 9 percent on water-heating costs. Insulating your water heater helps maintain the temperature of the water and reduces energy consumption.

  • Flush the Water Heater: 

Flushing the water heater every six months removes sediment buildup and improves efficiency and longevity. If you have harder water or water with more minerals, you may want to flush it more often. Connect a garden hose to the drain outlet near the base of the tank and drain the water into a large bucket or floor drain. This process should take about 20-25 minutes.

  • Test the Pressure Relief Valve: 

All gas and some electric water heaters have a temperature and pressure relief valve. Make sure it works by testing it regularly.

  • Set the Water Temperature to 120 Degrees Fahrenheit: 

The Department of Energy recommends setting the water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal performance. Setting it higher will increase the amount of gas used, resulting in a higher gas bill. Check the temperature of the water exiting your faucets to ensure that it matches the setting on your water heater thermostat.

Make sure that the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) to ensure that it is functioning properly. Inspect the burner assembly to ensure that it is clean and free of debris. If you notice any buildup, carefully vacuum it out or use a soft brush to clean it. Additionally, you may need to replace the thermocouple, which is a safety device that shuts off the gas automatically if the pilot flame goes out.

  • Clean the Air Intake Filter: 

The air intake filter keeps debris from getting into your water heater. Cleaning it regularly helps ensure optimal performance. 

  • Vent your Water Heater: 

If your gas water heater is not vented properly, it can cause safety issues and decrease efficiency. Make sure your water heater is vented properly to ensure optimal performance.

  • Turn Off the Power and Shut off the Cold-water Inlet: 

Turn off the gas or electricity to the water heater before performing any maintenance tasks. For gas water heaters, turn off the gas at the source. For electric water heaters, turn off the power at the breaker box.

Always wear protective clothing. Shut off the cold-water inlet to the water heater and release excess water by placing a bucket under the drain valve. The water will be hot, so take care to avoid burning yourself. 

  • Check the Valves and Look for Leaks:

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 in pipes and joints. Check the Temperature and Pressure (TP) relief valve following the manufacturer’s recommendations on its label.

This valve opens if the temperature or pressure inside the tank gets too high and releases excess pressure. Place a bucket under the TPR valve and lift the lever to release some water. If water doesn’t come out or the valve doesn’t reset properly, it may need to be replaced.

  • Check the Anode Rod:

Check the anode rod and replace it if necessary. The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod that helps prevent corrosion inside the tank. Over time, it can become corroded and should be replaced every 3-5 years.

  1. Wear Heat Resistant Gloves: 

Remember to always wear gloves, goggles, and other protective clothing while performing maintenance on your water heater. If you’re not comfortable performing these tasks yourself, you can always hire a professional to help with gas water heater maintenance. 


Remember to take precautions when performing maintenance on your gas water heater. Allow the water to cool down overnight before performing the maintenance check to prevent scalding and other water heater-related injuries. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the temperature and pressure relief valve’s label.  

In summary, regular maintenance is crucial for the optimal performance of your gas water heater. Follow these tips to ensure that your gas water heater operates efficiently and safely. If you’re in need of gas plumbing services, make sure you find a reputable and experienced provider to ensure the job is done safely and effectively.