A broken water heater doesn't just mean cold showers, it can also make it hard to wash dishes, clean the house, and do the laundry. To make sure that a surprise breakdown doesn't occur, you need to take steps to keep the hot water heater in excellent shape. The following are a few ways you can do just that.

Put it on it's own circuit

A dedicated electrical circuit means that nothing else is drawing power from the same circuit as the water heater. This cuts down on the chance of something else surging and either flipping the circuit or damaging the water heater so it no longer functions. In most newer homes, the water heater is placed on it's own dedicated circuit, but in older homes it may share the circuit with outlets or other appliances. Have an electrician check the wiring of your water heater. They can place it on a dedicated circuit quite easily if it isn't already.

Check the temperature & pressure (T&P) valve

The T&P valve is typically located at the top of the water heater. It's purpose is to prevent the water heater from exploding in the event the temperature and pressure inside rises too high. This can occur from a power surge, if the settings are accidentally adjusted, or from a malfunctioning temperature regulator. The issues that cause the pressure rise are usually reparable -- as long as the rise in pressure doesn't cause the heater to blow. By having the valve inspected to make sure it works properly, you can be assured that the pressure will be released without further damage to the heater or to your home.

Flush the heater regularly

The heat inside the tank causes minerals in the water to form a residue thanks to the process of evaporation and sedimentation. These minerals coat the inside of the tank, where they then flake off and fall to the bottom. Over time, the collected mineral sedimentation can reduce the capacity of the tank or even coat the heating elements so that they no longer effectively heat the water. Having the tank flushed periodically solves the problem by draining out the sediment. If you live in an area with hard, mineral-rich water, then you may also need to have the anodes replaced every few years. These anode rods are designed to attract the mineral buildup so that they are coated instead of the heating elements.

For more help, contact a hot water service in your area.