Tips on Prolonging the Life of Your Water Heater

Tips on Prolonging the Life of Your Water Heater

Is your water heater leaking? Do you know when your water heater was installed? The average lifespan of a water heater is 25 years. Has it been since your home was built twenty-five years ago? Plumbing appliances like water heaters will normally last a very long time, but like most all mechanical devices, they will wear-out eventually. The idea is to get as much life out of your heater as possible before it gives up the ghost and passes into water heater paradise.

There are a few things you need to do in order to maximize the life of your water heater. These are not difficult. They only take a few moments and usually only have to be done every few years. Try these tips for a long water heater life:

Over time, a water heater builds up sediment and hard water deposits. This material in your tank will decrease the efficiency and operations of your heater and must be removed. If you hear rumbling sounds in your water heater, you have sediment in the tank. To remove sediment, shut off the water supply to your heater. If you have an electric heater, turn off the power to the fixture. Hook a hose to the heater drain (located at the base of your tank) and then open the valve. Open a few hot water faucets in your home so a good vacuum is created and the tank will drain faster. Be sure to aim the drain hose into a location that will not be damaged by hot water (open sink or floor drain will suffice). When the tank is empty, you can turn on the water supply to flush out any remaining sediment. Restore power (if you have an electric heater) and allow the tank to refill. You can test the cleaned tank by running a nearby hot water faucet.

  • Located at the top of your tank water heater is a small portal to access the tank anode rod. This device is used to decrease tank corrosion over the life of the heater. It is necessary to replace this rod occasionally. Every couple years, remove this rod and replace it with the correct size for your system. These can be purchased at your local hardware store that sells hot water heaters.
  • Keep the area around your heater clean and free of debris, especially near the burner area. Cover your heater with an insulated water heater blanket and secure it to the nearest, stable wall structure to prevent tipping in the case of a natural disaster.

After all you do to prevent premature aging of your device, if you see your water heater leaking, check the water supply connections. If they are secure and not leaking, the culprit must be your tank. Call Roto-Rooter for an estimate of a new water heater purchase and installation.

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