Water heater repairs in Atlanta is the subject of this blog post. The majority of water heaters are still the vertical water tank kind with either a gas or electric heating element that keeps 40-60 gallons of water hot all day long. The average lifespan of this type of water heater is eleven years. But they can last a few years longer if certain maintainence is performed on a regular basis.
If you have hard water, you should consider investing in a water softener that will keep minerals in the water under control. If you've seen the white calcium stains on a shower stall or on the door of a dishwasher then you know the damage hard water can cause. Imagine what that hard water is doing to the inside of your water heater. Let me explain. Without a water softener in the house, hard water first attacks the magnesium anode rod inside the water heater. The rod's sole purpose is to attract minerals from the water and sacrifice itself so those minerals don't eat away at the steel water tank. Over time, the anode rod is reduced to nothing. The magnesium is literally dissolved by the minerals and once the anode rod is gone, those minerals will go to work on the metal water tank. Eventually, the tank will rust through and you'll develop a leak or complete tank failure causing flooding and a big hassle.
You can replace an anode rod yourself every 2-3 years, depending upon the hardness of your water. To replace the rod, look for a large hex bolt head on the top of the water tank. Sometimes it is marked. You'll need a wrench or socket to loosen the bolt and pull out the anode rod like a dip stick. I must warn you that this is no easy task. They must tighten the bolt with an impact wrench at the factory because the bolts are tough to break loose. It is not uncommon to see a plumber use a four-foot breaker bar while an assistant bear hugs the water heater tank to prevent it from moving while the plumber struggles to get the bolt loose.
Be sure to drain the water heater tank annually to get all of the minerals out of the tank. Minerals accumulate along the bottom of the tank and you'll know they are in ther if they make a popping sound when the heating element is on. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions when draining a tank. In most instances, you should turn off power and gas to the heater before draining the tank or changing the anode rod. Water heaters can be very dangerous so if you don't know what you are doing, the safe bet is to just call an experienced plumber for maintenance on an annual basis or at least every couple of years. Doing water heater repairs in Atlanta should make your heater last at least another five years.
One last thing, don't sink a bunch of money into repairs if your water heater is already 8 or 9 years old. You'll probably come out ahead if you just replace it. Nothing stings more than dropping a few hundred bucks on a repair only to have the thing die in the next couple of years. Be smart about it.
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