In most cases, our water heaters go overlooked in our houses. We don’t spend as much time learning about or knowing how to maintain them as we do our air conditioners and other more typical house maintenance. The hot water heater system, on the other hand, is just as crucial and requires regular maintenance if you want to get the most years out of it. Even the greatest water heater systems can fail prematurely if not properly maintained. The longevity of a water heater is determined by the amount of time and effort invested in it. However, maintaining a water heater is not an easy operation.
When it comes to delivering the optimal maintenance regimen for your system, you’ll need to enlist the help of experts. However, there are a few things you can do at home in between expert maintenance visits to help maintain it in good shape. Read on for the best methods to extend the life of your water heater!
Average Water Heater Lifespan
While modern water heaters are better engineered than older models, they still need to be serviced regularly if they are to last. A gas water heater should last 8-12 years with regular maintenance, draining, and cleaning, whereas an electric water heater should last 10-15 years.
Water Heater Maintenance Tips
There are plenty of easy and fairly inexpensive ways to increase the lifespan of your water heater.
You only need to do some of these things once, and you’re done! If you take the time to factor in these five water heater maintenance tips when installing, upgrading, or maintaining your system, then your water heater will be in good shape for quite some time.
1. Install a water softener
Water can be a big problem for modern water heaters. It can wreak havoc on the inner workings of your water heater and lead to premature failure. Water that is too hard can cause scale buildup in the tank and piping. The buildup can interfere with the normal operation of your water heater. If a buildup of scale occurs in the tank, it can restrict the flow of hot water.
Stopping scale buildup is easier than you might think. All you need is water softener salt. Water softener salt dissolves in the water to create a protective layer of sodium on the surface of the pipes and in the tank of the water heater. This protective layer prevents the buildup of scale.
2. Install an Expansion Tank
An expansion tank allows your water heater to release the pressure that builds up as hot water is stored in the tank. This pressure can cause leaks, or worse, in the tank. The pressure can also cause the tank to crack or explode. Installing an expansion tank will prevent any of these issues due to pressure.
3. Drain the Tank Annually
A lot of people think that an expansion tank is all they need to ensure the longevity of their water heater. The truth is, regular tank draining is required for your water heater to last as long as it should.
If a water heater is not drained regularly, the sediment inside will eventually build up and start to compromise the tank. The sediment will corrode the tank, causing leaks and other issues.
Once a year, you should drain your water heater tank and flush the system with a clean water to prevent sediment buildup.
4. Insulate the Heater and Pipes
Heat rises, and water heater tanks are exposed to a lot of it. This heat can cause the pipes and the tank to become hot. This increased temperature can reduce the lifespan of your water heater if it is not properly insulated.
To insulate the pipes, you can wrap them with foam pipe insulation or insulation tape. To insulate the water heater, you can use a water heater blanket. Insulation will keep the temperature cooler and extend the lifespan of your water heater.
The tips above may seem like common sense, but many people don’t think about them when it comes to their water heater. If you’re serious about adding some years onto your water heater, start taking care of it now.
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