10 Minute Assessments

Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters store water in an insulated tank. You should see a temperature control, a pressure valve, and a drain valve. Inside the tank, thermostats measure the water temperature and control the heaters. Most also have automatic shutoffs and a reset button.

With gas and oil units, the fumes exit through ductwork and vents, often the same ones used by your heating system. Keep them clear to prevent carbon monoxide issues.

Flush your tank at least once a year to remove sediment buildup. Most homeowners hire a pro for this.



Repair and replacement costs

Typical Costs

  • Flush: $80 – $100
  • Repair: $220 – $950
  • Replace: $500 – $1,500

Life span


10 – 15 years

Steps to Assess Your Hot Water Heater


Step 1: To prevent fires and ensure easy access, clear the area around your heater.


Step 2: Inspect the unit for dents, cracks, or corrosion. Look for leaking, bent, or corroded lines or ductwork. Test the water and gas line shutoffs. If they don’t open and close easily, replace them ASAP.


Step 3: Inspect the temperature gauge and pressure valves. Replace them if they’re leaking or corroded. Check the pressure valve every 6 months to make sure it works.


Step 4: Test the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. The handle should open and close easily. If it doesn’t, replace it.