water heater maintenance

Water Heater Maintenance: Why You Need to Maintain Your Water Heater

Whether you’re running the dishwasher or enjoying a nice long shower, your water heater makes life a whole lot easier.

Without the right water heater maintenance in place, you could end paying quite a bit of money for repairs or a replacement.

Read on to discover how you can extend the life of this important appliance with a few simple maintenance tips as well as their many benefits.

Flush Your Water Heater for Better Efficiency

If you live in an area with “hard water,” this appliance can become clogged up and bogged down by excess sediment. Regardless of your water hardness level buildup of calcium is a common problem that can cause your water heater to malfunction.

When loose minerals settle in the bottom of your water heater, it must work harder to produce hot water for your home. If you have a gas water heater, the minerals can cause tank damage and even failure due to the hot spots the sediments create.

For electric water heaters, when minerals settle at the bottom, it can cause the lower heating element to fail. To combat this problem, make sure you flush your water heater regularly so that it runs at the level of efficiency you need.

Ideally, you should completely flush your water heater at least every six months or once per year for the best results. When your water heater runs more efficiently, you’ll notice lower energy costs and water that heats up much faster.

Save Money with Water Heater Maintenance

Not only will a “healthy” water heater operate more efficiently, but it will also save you quite a bit of money in the long run. With regular visual inspections, you can catch problems before they get out of hand.

Look closely around the piping and valves of your water heater and be on the lookout for any signs of rust or corrosion. Make sure the draft hood is also free of corrosion and attached securely if you have a gas water heater. Check gas fittings to ensure that they are all in good condition, too.

You might notice a black residue or signs of charring near the top or near fittings on your water heater. This could be related to a combustion issue, and it’s recommended that you call a professional right away.

The occasional visual inspection will help you learn what to look for so you can be sure your water heater is in good condition. If you notice something that seems amiss, contact a professional plumbing and HVAC company as soon as possible so they can determine the cause and correct any problems they see.

You’ll Protect Your Home

One of the most damaging things that can occur in your home is when a hot heater bursts. Without the right maintenance plan, you could end up with a house full of water, an insurance claim, and some serious structural damage.

Have your water heater inspected annually, and check on all fittings and connections regularly. Water heaters can “burst” or leak at any time, so it’s crucial to make sure that you’re checking the appliance frequently to make sure everything looks good.

If you’re planning to go out of town for a while, it’s a good idea to turn off your main water supply. This simple step will give you peace of mind and prevent the water heater from leaking or bursting when you’re away.

There are special alarms you can purchase that sound as soon as water touches them. Add one near your water heater so you can be alerted any time water is detected nearby.

Thorough water heater maintenance will not just save you money, but it will also protect your entire home from the ravages of water. If you’re not sure where to start, consider paying for an annual or biannual inspection plan and let the professionals take a closer look.

Extend the Life of Your Water Heater with this Simple Tip

The lifespan of the average hot water heater can vary, but most newer models should last several years, even a decade before they need to be replaced. One simple thing you can do to extend your appliance’s life is to check the anode rod.

The anode rod is probably one of the most important parts of your water heater and plays a significant role in its lifespan. This part consists of a steel core wire surrounded by one of three different types of metal. The metal can either be magnesium, aluminum, or zinc.

You’ll find the anode rod screwed into the top of your water heater. This important component is designed to protect your water heater from rusting.

To check on the anode rod, loosen the hex head screw and remove it. Take a close look at the rod and if more than six inches of the steel wire is exposed, it should be replaced.

Other warning signs that you need a new anode rod is if the rod is less than one-half inch thick or if it’s clearly coated with calcium. The good news is that you can find a new anode rod at most hardware or home improvement stores for an extremely affordable price. Replacing this part is much less expensive than having to replace the entire water heater!

Maintenance Matters

As you can see, hot water heater maintenance is an easy way to extend the life of this vital appliance. Check for signs of damage regularly and flush the unit once a year or more to prevent sediment buildup. If you need service for your home including your hot water heater, visit our website or contact us today.

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