How long is a water heater supposed to last? Most manufacturers say eight to twelve years. But a lot of homeowners’ water heater may last for only half that time. There are several reasons why your water heater may fail. So, if you don’t want to pay for a premature replacement and you’re willing to carry out some maintenance, these tips will help extend the life of your water heater.
Flush Your Water Heater Once Every Year
You should consider flushing out your water heater at least once a year. This will help keep it in good shape and improve its efficiency.
Flushing also helps to prevent corrosion. Corrosion can occur when minerals and other contaminants build up inside or around the parts of your tank, causing them to corrode. This means that sooner or later, those parts will need replacing.
Change the Anode Rod
Anode rods are part of the water heater tank and are designed to protect the tank from corrosion. As water heaters age, the steel used in their construction becomes more prone to rust and corrosion.
In older water heaters, the anode rod may be corroded or missing altogether. This can cause serious damage to your tank because it won’t be protected from rusting.
Check your anode rod every three to five years. Or contact your local plumbing service to book a water heater tune-up – they’ll replace the anode rod for you.
Consider an Expansion Tank
An expansion tank is a heat exchanger used to compensate for volume changes in water caused by temperature changes. A water heater’s internal volume changes as the temperature of the water changes, causing pressure changes within the tank. Pressure can rise dramatically without a relief valve to release excess pressure. An expansion tank provides a safe place for this pressure to be released and helps keep temperatures within safe operating limits.
Test the Pressure-Relief Valve
A pressure release valve is a safety device that relieves excessive pressure in your water heater. It’s usually found on the top of the water heater, just above the drain line.
The pressure release valve should be tested once a year. If you need help with how to test it yourself, your local plumbing professionals can help during a water heater tune-up, where they’ll carry out the check for you.
Install a Water Softener or Whole House Filter
Water softeners and whole-house filters are two of the best ways to extend the life of your water heater.
Whole house water filters offer a similar benefit by filtering out contaminants that would otherwise be picked up by your water heater.