Water heaters are an essential component of any household. They are responsible for providing hot water for a variety of uses, such as showering, cleaning dishes, and doing laundry.
Unfortunately, water heaters do not last forever; they eventually wear out and need to be replaced. This article will provide information on how to extend the lifespan of a water heater by taking the necessary steps to maintain it properly.
It will also discuss the financial benefits of extending the life of a water heater and how to identify when it is time to replace it.
Regularly Flush The Tank
The theory that regularly flushing a water heater tank can help extend its life is widely accepted.
Water heaters accumulate sediment over time, which can reduce the efficiency of the heater and cause it to fail prematurely.
Flushing out the sediment on a regular basis helps ensure that the heater is running optimally and efficiently.
This process involves draining the tank completely, either by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve or by having a plumber come in to perform this task.
Regular maintenance of this kind will ensure that your water heater has an extended lifespan.
As such, it is important to establish a schedule for flushing your water heater at least once every year or two.
Add An Expansion Tank
In order to further extend the life of a water heater, an expansion tank may be added.
This is a maintenance task that can help ensure energy efficiency, as it helps to maintain the pressure within the tank.
An expansion tank works in tandem with a pressure relief valve and a pressure valve.
The expansion tank absorbs any extra pressure that builds up, which would otherwise cause damage to the water heater system.
Therefore, by adding an expansion tank, one can prevent damage from occurring and keep their water heater running optimally for many years.
Perform Routine Maintenance
Maintaining a water heater is like caring for a pet: it needs regular attention and proper maintenance to stay healthy and extend its life.
To ensure a long-lasting water heater, one should perform the following routine maintenance activities:
- Ensure safety by regularly inspecting the water heater for any signs of damage or wear-and-tear;
- Clean the surrounding area to prevent dust or debris from getting into the system;
- Make repairs as soon as any issues arise to avoid bigger problems in the future;
- Schedule an annual checkup with a qualified professional for a comprehensive inspection and cleaning.
By following these steps, homeowners can ensure that their hot water tanks remain in good condition and continue to provide them with hot showers for many years to come.
Check The Anode Rod
The anode rod is a vital component of the water heater. It is a long metal rod that typically runs down the center of the water tank and helps to protect the hot water tank from corrosion caused by minerals in the water.
The anode rod should be inspected annually and replaced if necessary, according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model. Over time, the anode rod will corrode away, which can lead to damage of the hot water tank if not replaced.
It is important to replace it promptly when needed in order to extend the life of your water heater.
Insulate The Pipes And Heater
Wrapped in quality insulation, your water heater can extend its life expectancy and reduce energy costs. Insulating pipes and the heater itself can provide numerous benefits to homeowners.
Here are a few easy steps to follow:
- Use insulation or wrap to cover all exposed pipes connected to the water heater. This will prevent heat loss and ensure that hot water reaches its destination faster.
- Install an insulation blanket on the actual water heater, which will help retain heat and reduce energy consumption by up to 15%, according to the US Department of Energy.
- Consider having a plumbing professional install a descaler system, which reduces mineral content in your water supply. Minerals cause build-up over time, leading to decreased efficiency and shorter life expectancy for your water heater.
Therefore, with just a bit of planning and effort, you can save energy and money while extending the life of your water heater.
Test The Pressure Relief Valve
After ensuring the heater is insulated, the next step in extending the life of a water heater is to test the pressure relief valve.
This safety valve is designed to release any excess pressure that builds up in the tank.
The valve should be tested at least once a year, and it requires opening the valve and allowing water to discharge from the pipe.
It is recommended that this task be done by a professional, as it can be dangerous if not done correctly.
However, if a homeowner follows all safety procedures and feels comfortable with performing this task themselves, they should do so.
Testing a pressure-relief valve will help ensure that any built-up pressure in a water heater does not cause damage or injury.
Inspect Gas Lines
An estimated 21 percent of American households have gas water heaters installed in their homes. Inspecting gas lines regularly is a great way to extend the life of your water heater.
Here are four steps for doing so:
- Check for any signs of corrosion around metal components such as the tank from corrosion.
- Make sure all connections are tight, and use pliers to re-tighten them if necessary.
- Ensure the electric water heater’s vent is clear of debris or buildup that could cause a malfunction or fire hazard.
- If you’re not comfortable performing these inspections yourself, contact a plumbing professional to inspect the gas lines and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.
Regularly inspecting and maintaining your gas line will help keep your water heater running efficiently and safely for years to come.
Install A Water Softener
Installing a water softener is an effective way to extend the life of a water heater.
Soft water is softer than hard water due to the absence of mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium, which can build up on the internal components of a water heater, leading to corrosion.
This corrosion can cause a decrease in efficiency and eventually lead to failure.
By installing a water softener, homes can ensure that their water heaters are running at peak performance and have an extended lifespan.
Additionally, using soft water will reduce maintenance costs associated with frequent descaling or repairs due to corrosion and mineral deposits.
Use Vacation Mode
After installing a water softener, another way to extend the life of your water heater is by using vacation mode. Vacation mode can be used for both tank and tankless water heaters; it is a great safety feature to have when you are away from home for an extended period of time.
Here are some ways to use vacation mode:
- Turn the temperature down to the lowest setting.
- Disconnect garden hoses from the water heater if necessary.
- Shut off the power or gas supply to the appliance if applicable.
This will help conserve energy and save money while also protecting your water heater in case of any unexpected issues while you’re away. Additionally, it will also help prolong its life.
The importance of maintaining a water heater cannot be underestimated. By regularly flushing the tank, adding an expansion tank, performing routine maintenance, checking the anode rod, insulating the pipes and heater, testing the pressure relief valve, inspecting gas lines, installing a water softener and using vacation mode, homeowners can extend the life of their water heaters.
With regular maintenance, a well cared for water heater can last up to double its expected lifespan. All these precautions will give a homeowner peace of mind that their water heater is in good condition and will continue to provide them with hot showers and other appliances for years to come.
Taking this extra step is essential to ensure comfort and reliability in any home and True Plumbing is always on hand to assist with water heater repair in Atlanta.
It’s recommended to flush your water heater at least once a year to remove sediment buildup and prevent corrosion.
The recommended temperature setting for most households is between 120-140°F to balance energy efficiency and hot water needs.
While some basic maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners such as checking the pressure relief valve or draining the tank, it’s best to consult a professional for any major repairs or replacements.
With regular maintenance, most water heaters can last between 8-12 years, but it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear and replace the unit if necessary to prevent leaks and water damage.