DIY Water Heater Maintenance Tips For Energy Efficiency

A water heater is an essential appliance that almost every household relies on. It helps in regulating the temperature of water, which makes it suitable for personal hygiene, cooking, and other household activities. However, like any other appliance, water heaters are susceptible to wear and tear, which can compromise their energy efficiency over time.

To prevent a decrease in energy efficiency, regular maintenance of your water heater is necessary. Fortunately, most maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners without requiring professional help. Here are some useful DIY water heater maintenance tips to ensure optimum energy efficiency:

1. Drain the Tank Regularly

Over time, scale and sediment accumulate in the bottom of the water tank, making it harder for the heater to function correctly. This can result in a decrease in energy efficiency. To avoid this, it is essential to flush or drain the tank at least once a year.

Draining the tank involves turning off the power supply, connecting a garden hose to the drain valve, and letting the water run into a bucket or drain until clear water comes out. This clears out any debris that may have built up at the bottom of the tank, improving the heater’s energy efficiency.

2. Check and Replace the Anode Rod

The anode rod is designed to attract minerals and prevent rust from forming in the tank. With time, the anode rod will deteriorate, and a replacement will be necessary. Checking and replacing the anode rod every few years is crucial to improving energy efficiency and increasing the lifespan of your water heater.

To replace the anode rod, turn off the power supply, disconnect water supply to the heater, and unscrew the hex head located at the top of the heater tank. Pull the old rod out and replace it with a new one.

3. Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve help regulate the pressure and temperature inside the heater tank. A malfunctioning valve may cause the heater to overheat or explode, compromising both energy efficiency and safety.

Testing the valve is quite simple. Ensure that the valve is not clogged by opening and closing it several times. Also, be sure to check if water runs out through the valve when the lever is pulled. If you don’t see water coming out, or the valve seems defective, it’s important to replace it immediately.

4. Insulate Your Water Heater

As water sits in the tank, it will eventually lose heat, especially if the heater is located in a cold area of your home. Insulating the tank will preserve the heat and reduce the amount of energy required to maintain a steady supply of hot water.

Insulating the water heater is a simple DIY maintenance activity. It involves fitting an insulating blanket around the water tank and securing it with tape. This is an effective way of improving the heater’s energy efficiency and reducing energy wastage.

5. Check the Pilot Light and Burner

If you have a gas water heater, it’s imperative to check and maintain the burner and pilot light. Accumulation of dust, soot, or debris can block the tubes and cause the burner to malfunction.

To avoid this, turn off the gas supply, remove the cover panel, and inspect the burner and pilot light. Clean them using a soft-bristled brush and gently remove any residue or dirt.


Regular maintenance of your water heater is necessary to ensure its energy efficiency and longevity. The above DIY tips are easy to follow, and they can significantly improve the performance of your water heater. Don’t wait until your water heater malfunctions to start maintaining it. With these tips, your water heater will perform efficiently and save you thousands of dollars in energy bills over time.

Scroll to Top