If you want your hot water system to have a long life of reliable service, these tips should help. Add Extra Insulation to Your Hot Water The insulation on your tank does a good job of keeping your water at the right temperature but adding more can help reduce heat loss by more than 40%. With this sort of improvement, you can expect to save almost 10% on your water energy costs. Test the TPR Valve The TPR valve is a safety valve that ensures your hot water system and pressure relief valve stay within their defined parameters. After shutting off the power and cold-water supply valve, place a bucket under the TPR. Lift the valve and let some water out. If water keeps flowing when you let it go, then it's time for a replacement. Check the Anode Rod The anode rod is a safety measure to prevent corrosion of the metal lining inside your water heater. Checking and replacing the anode rod will prevent issues like explosions to to defects. An anode rod that is around 1/2 an inch thick or covered in calcium means your hot water system is due for a new one. Clean out Sediment Sediment build-up in the tank can make the hot water system inefficient, so it's a good idea to remove it at least once every year. You will need to turn your system off and give it time to cool before you start draining water from it.Turning off the cold water valve will save your drain as well. Make sure you turn on some faucets around your home to prevent a vacuum from forming in your pipes. Get Hot Water Inspections From Local Plumber There are some things you can do yourself, but others you should leave to a professional. A heating specialist will thoroughly inspect your water system to ensure it's working efficiently and will pick up faults you may miss before they can develop into expensive problems. Annual inspections will extend the life of your system and improve efficiency, Contact Plumbing Systems Inc. for any Heater or Hot Water needs.