Keeping up with water heater maintenance is a good way to decrease the odds of early replacement. Statistics say that the water heater is the most frequently replaced major appliance in a typical residence. While it was once common to get 20 years of service from a standard water heater, today the average is about half that. If proper water heater maintenance by a qualified professional plumber is ignored, a unit may fail in only five to six years.
Extend the life of your heater and cut operating costs by following these five water heater maintenance tips:
Flush The Tank
Minerals in hard water solidify when heated and form a layer of sediment in the bottom of the tank. This promotes tank corrosion and also causes the burner to run longer cycles, raising operating costs. Draining the tank regularly removes mineral sediment before it solidifies and can’t be removed.
Replace The Anode
The sacrificial anode inside the tank attracts corrosives in the water that would otherwise deteriorate the tank and cause early failure. Anodes eventually dissolve and need replacement. A qualified plumber can check the status of the anode and install a new one if necessary.
Test The Pressure Relief Valve
The spring-loaded pressure relief valve on the top or side of the heater opens automatically to protect the unit from dangerously high internal pressure or temperature. Once a year, open the valve, verify that water spurts out into the discharge tube, then allow the valve to snap shut. If water isn’t released or if the valve continues to dribble after it’s been released, have the valve replaced immediately.
Check The Temperature
Unnecessarily high water temperatures may accelerate tank failure and also present a scald hazard to occupants. Make sure the water heater thermostat is set to 120 degrees or less.
Soften The Water
If you live in an area with very high mineral content, a water softener that removes minerals like calcium from the incoming water supply can add years to the water heater’s expected service life.
For professional water heater maintenance, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today.