If you own a home, you’re bound to have at least one major appliance break down and need repair or replacement. Most appliances will give you years of service if you make sure to give them a little TLC. Even your water heater can be babied a little and enjoy an extended life. Here are tips to help you get more out of your water heater.
Unless you live in a house where the water heater is located in a utility area on the main floor, you don’t pay much attention to it. Most people get used to the gurgles and burps made by the tank. Also, if you’re not a handy person, you might avoid the water heater, hoping you never need to look at it closely. Instead of ignoring your water heater, make a point of inspecting it on a regular basis. Check for leaks. Inspect the joints and look for gaps. Notice cracks on the tank. If you don’t have time for maintenance, call your plumber and schedule them to take care of it for you.
Flush the Tank
Water heaters are prone to sediment buildup. This is especially true if you have hard water in your area. Flushing your water heater tank every 6-12 months helps reduce sediment buildup. Sediment can block the heating element, which is located at the bottom of the tank. If the heating element is blocked, the water heater has to work harder than normal. You can flush the tank yourself if you pay attention to safety precautions. Your plumber can also do it as part of your regular maintenance appointment.
Replace the Anode Rod
Want to double the life of your water heater? Replace the anode rod before it fails. An anode rod helps prevent corrosion inside the water tank. Rust is one thing that can significantly reduce the life of a water heater. Corrosion caused by rust can cause the bottom of the tank to fall out — then you have a recipe for a plumbing disaster. Like many plumbing maintenance tasks, you can change the anode rod yourself, but most homeowners prefer the plumber takes care of the job. Anode rods can last about 3-5 years.
Install a Water Softener
You might wonder how a water softener can extend the life of a water heater. Most people associate water softeners with drinking, bathing, and washing clothes and dishes. While that’s true, water softeners can also reduce wear and tear on a water heater. Water softeners reduce scaling. Just like your other water-thirsty appliances don’t handle scale buildup well, water heaters don’t like it either.
Check the Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is a critical safety component of a water heater. As the name suggests, the pressure relief valve relieves pressure inside the water tank. A faulty pressure relief valve can result in flooding. At the extreme, it could cause an explosion. Homeowners can easily test the valve. Your plumber may suggest testing every 2 years. Check the manufacturer’s manual on your tank and see if they recommend testing more often.
For more tips and for help with all your plumbing needs, contact The Pink Plumber today!