We all want to get the best bang for our buck. That is especially true when it comes to large purchases for your home, such as a water heater. Even if you’re not in the market for a new water heater right now, there are steps you can take to save money in the future by maintaining and extending the service life out of your current unit. Each year you can put off buying a new water heater is money that stays in your pocket. Read on and we’ll explain how.
Maintenance tasks to maximize a water heater’s service life
The average lifespan for a tank water heater is 8-12 years. To get the most out of your unit, be sure to follow simple maintenance tasks such as flushing the tank, testing the relief valve, checking the anode rod, installing a water softener system, and more.
1. Drain and flush the tank
You could argue that the most important maintenance task is draining and flushing the tank at least once a year. Over time, mineral deposits and sediment build up inside the tank that can disrupt performance and corrode the lining. You can use a garden hose attached to the drain valve to discharge the dirty water, then flush new water through the tank to remove any extra sediment.
2. Test pressure relief valve
The pressure relief valve is a safety feature that releases water from the tank if the internal pressure or temperature gets dangerously high. However, if the valve gets stuck or clogged by sediment, your water heater is at a higher risk of leaking or bursting. Test the valve to make sure it opens, releases a small amount of water, then closes properly.
3. Check and replace the anode rod
As mentioned earlier, the water inside the tank contains hard minerals. The anode rod attracts corrosive particles to prevent them from impacting the lining of the tank. Once the rod is worn out, it will need to be replaced. You can find the anode rod at the top of your tank, but you may need to remove a cover or unscrew a plug to access it. Depending on your water’s mineral content, the anode rod may need to be replaced every 3-5 years.
4. Install a water softener system
Even with an intact anode rod, hard water can be harmful to your water heater and overall plumbing. Installing a water softener system can take care of that problem by removing or balancing out the mineral content of the water supply.
4. Clean out the surrounding area
Be sure to give your water heater ample room. In other words, you shouldn’t pile items up against or close to the unit. Not only does the water heater need space for proper air circulation, but it also makes it easier for you to notice leaks and perform any of the other duties listed above.
When to repair or replace your water heater
If you do these five things, you have a good chance of squeezing as much life possible out of your current water heater. Of course, no system can last forever, and eventually you’ll need to repair or replace the unit. When that time comes, contact the experienced team at Robert B. Payne, Inc. For all your plumbing needs, call (540) 373-5876 today.