A little upkeep can make your propane gas water heater live longer and work more efficiently. If the tank rumbles or creaks, collected sediment is the likely cause. Every six months, you should flush the tank by attaching a hose to the drain and letting the water run out for three to five minutes. Your owner's manual will show the drain location and the proper flushing procedure.
Water heaters come with relief valves that open automatically if the water temperature exceeds 210° F. or the pressure exceeds 150 psi. Once a year, check the relief valve by flipping the test lever. If water flows out when the lever is opened and stops without leaking when the lever is closed, the relief valve is in good working order. If the valve is stuck or leaks, have a properly licensed propane gas technician put in a new one.
Also inspect the insulation outside your water heater and hot water pipes. Proper insulation can reduce energy consumption 5 to 10 percent-if your water heater is located in an unheated space.