Inspecting and maintaining your water heater is relatively simple and will help extend its lifespan.

Gas water heaters typically require more maintenance than their electric counterparts. The first step is to check the pipes and the outside of the unit for any corroded, blackened, or rusted areas. These could be signs of improper combustion or a leak. If you notice any of these issues, you should contact a professional hot water heater repair service. Unless you are an expert, trying to fix the problems yourself can be dangerous and cause serious damage to your water heater.

The second step is to check for possible gas leaks. You can do this with an inexpensive gas leak detector that you purchase online or at your local hardware or home improvement store. You should also check the gas valve. The pilot light should turn off when you turn the valve slightly. Inspect the gas hood to ensure that it is not loose and is properly centered. It is also important the check the pilot light, burner, and flame color twice a year. The pilot light flame should be blue with just a touch of yellow at the tip.