Even the best water heater isn’t going to last long without proper maintenance and care. Water heaters can and do go far when it comes to increasing energy savings, but you need to make certain you buy the right type. Since water heaters do not come cheap, it’s only natural to want to extend its lifespan. The good news is maintenance isn’t hard to do as the following information will show.
Before you start, don’t forget to read the product’s instruction manual for additional maintenance tips. A typical water tank is good for 10 to 12 years, but with proper care, you can make it last longer.
Clean the Tank
Over time sediment will build up in a water heater, and this has a detrimental effect on performance, efficiency and ultimately reduces their lifespan. For this reason, it is best to flush the tank every six months at least, more frequently if the water is hard.
Installing an expansion tank is another way to enhance its performance. An expansion tank is used to safeguard closed water heating and domestic hot water units from too much pressure. If you’re using a closed system, using an expansion tank can lengthen the lifespan of your water heater.
How is that possible? When water heats up from 50 to 120 degrees, a two percent expansion takes place. With a 50 gallon water tank, this expansion produces an additional gallon. With a closed system, the valve keeps the water from moving back in the main.
In this case, the water leads to a quick increase and decrease of pressure, and this can lead to water heater damage. However, this problem can be avoided with an expansion tank.
Use Water Softeners
Another way to improve performance is by adding a water softener. Water softeners will be especially useful if the water in your area has a high mineral content. Too much hard water leads to mineral water deposit on the surface, and this has an adverse effect on the life of water heater. The bottom line is if you have hard water, a water softener will help keep the tank and water clean.
Replace the Anode Rod
Replace the rod every three years to ensure optimum performance. The rod is subjected to galvanic corrosion after prolonged use as it serves as protection for the tank, so it’s a good idea to replace the anode rod to keep the tank humming and extend its lifespan.
You may have read that an anode rod should be replaced only once every 4 or 5 years, but there are situations that cause accelerated wear and tear. It is for this reason why we recommend replacing every three years and inspecting on a regular basis.
Keep an Eye on Performance
To be more specific, keep an eye on the water pressure. A lot of the problems that arise from the use of water heater stems from improper water pressure maintenance. The figure varies but usually it is around 60 to 80 psi. Replacing the temperature and pressure valve may be necessary if there is too much pressure. Fortunately, it is easy enough to test: if no water comes out after opening, get a replacement.
If the water pressure is at 90 psi it could lead to problems with the water heater’s performance. Equipped with a water pressure regulating valve, you will be able to control the water pressure and prevent damage.
Keep an Eye for Problems
If the water temperature fluctuates, it could be due to a malfunctioning component, or the pressure relief valve could be leaking. Water discoloration is another sure sign of a problem, and it indicates the anode rod needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
The number of people that use water heaters continues to increase, and we can expect this to rise in the future. Buying a high quality water heater is necessary, but just as important is the steps you take to maintain it. All too often people give up on their water heaters too quickly when maintenance could have prolonged its life. By following the tips and advice given here, you will be able to extend the life of your water heater and make it serviceable for years to come.