How To Extend The Life Of Your Water Heater

water heater maintenance to extend lifespan

You should not wait for your water heater to fail in order to call a professional plumber. To keep your water heater system working longer and efficiently, you simply need to schedule preventative maintenance on a regular basis. Keeping this in mind, here are six tips on how to extend water heater life expectancy.

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How To Increase Water Heater Lifespan

Below, we share some effective methods to improve your water heater’s service life. This way, your water heater will perform efficiently and you can avoid premature water heater replacements from occurring in your home.

Flush The Water Storage Tank

Sediment buildup/mineral deposit is a common water heater problem. Whether you have soft or hard water, your heater will likely develop this problem over time. Mineral deposits can, among other things, damage your water heater, clog your water pipes, lower your water heating system’s efficiency, and reduce the capacity of your storage tank. To avoid this problem, you need to flush your tank regularly, preferably every six months. This process can be messy, especially if you lack the necessary knowledge, safety gear, and tools. Therefore, you should hire a professional plumber for an inspection and water heater maintenance service.

Descale Your Tankless System

image of an automatic or tankless water heater

Similar to conventional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters too collect minerals over time. In tankless systems, the mineral buildup occurs around the inlets, valves, and pipes. Therefore, to extend the lifespan of your tankless water heater, you need to ensure it’s always sediment-free. However, cleaning such a system properly can be difficult and potentially dangerous because it entails working with electricity and potentially toxic chemicals. For instance, the descaling process requires the use of undiluted vinegar and other solutions. Improper use of these chemicals could lead to serious consequences. To avoid this, you should call a professional plumber to inspect your on-demand water heating system and clean it thoroughly.

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Inspect The Anode Rod

In a water heater system, the anode rod consists of a steel core coated with aluminum, zinc, or a similar material. Its main function is to protect the interior lining of the heater’s storage tank. Therefore, if the anode rod is damaged or worn out, the storage tank will leak. Therefore, you should schedule regular professional preventative maintenance. To inspect the coating and thickness of the anode rod, the professional will need to loosen the hex head and drain some water. Because this process involves working with electricity, it requires proper tools, safety gear, and caution around electricity. For this reason, you should delegate the task to a certified plumber. In case you need to replace your anode rod, the plumber will do it swiftly and seamlessly.

Check The Hot Water Heater Thermostat Setting

plumber adjusting water heater thermostat

If you own a tankless water system, you should review its temperature setting at least once a year. If the temperature is set too high, it will not only increase your energy costs but also accelerate scale buildup. According to OSHA, you should set your water heater as high as 140° F in order to eliminate harmful bacteria from your water. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on the other hand, says you should set the temperature of your water heater at 120° F. A certified plumber can help you determine the best temperature setting for your home.

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Test Pressure-Release Valve

Conventional tank water heaters typically come with various safety features. One such feature is a built-in pressure-relief value. When the pressure inside the storage tank hits dangerous high levels, the value automatically releases pressure, ensuring the tank does not explode. Due to its important role, you should ensure your pressure-release valve is always in proper working condition. To find out whether or not is working property, simply lift the valve’s lever. When you do this, water should flow out of the discharge pipe. If that doesn’t happen, you should call a qualified plumber to investigate and resolve the problem. Besides quality services, professional plumbers also use quality replacement parts that last for a long time.

image of a plumber performing water heater flush

Insulate The Water Heater And Pipes

One way to extend the life expectancy of your water heater is to ensure it does not always run at full capacity, and therefore, reduce the rate of wear and tear. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), insulating your system’s water tank could reduce standby heat losses by up to 45% and lower your water heating costs by as much as 16%. Moreover, insulating your pipes is a good way to prevent winter-related plumbing problems such as frozen pipes. For the best results, you should insulate both your hot and cold water pipes.

Insulation ensures water pipes remain condensation-free during the warm summer months. However, hard-to-reach areas and components, such as temperature controls, can make it difficult to insulate your water heating system properly. If you insulate your water heater system by yourself, there’s a big possibility you’ll not do it right due to a lack of proper tools and other reasons. Therefore, to save both time and money, you should delegate the task to a qualified plumber.

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To extend the life expectancy of your water heater, you should insulate your heater and water pipes, test the pressure-relief valve regularly, check the thermostat setting annually, inspect the anode rod, flush the water storage tank, and descale your tankless system. These tasks can be difficult or even dangerous to perform, especially if you lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools. Therefore, you should delegate the tasks to a professional plumber.

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Contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the most trusted plumbing companies in the Lehigh Valley, for reliable plumbing services. We have lots of plumbing services ranging from water heater maintenance, toilet repairs, faucet upgrades, water leak repairs, and more. We always give a wide range of solutions when possible for any plumbing repairs. This allows you to choose the best options for your budget and home.

We proudly offer the most affordable and best plumbing services in the Lehigh Valley area. Our plumbers all have the proper licenses and expertise to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work comes with a guarantee. Contact Robinson Plumbing today and schedule your free estimate.

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