3 Important Water Heater Maintenance Tips

When was the last time you performed maintenance or service on your water heater? Many people never perform the needed maintenance and may be at risk of a water heater breakdown. While water heaters do not need much service, an annual tune-up can help prevent problems and extend the life of your appliance. Here are three water heater maintenance tips that can help minimize the risk of leaks and premature failure.

  1. Check the pressure release valve. The pressure release valve on water heater tanks is vital to maintaining the correct pressure. When the temperature or pressure become too high inside the tank, the valve releases water. This should be checked to ensure it is working at least once a year and replaced if necessary to avoid pressure build-up that can cause tank leaks or explosions.
  2. Drain the tank. The tank of a water heater can fill with mineral sediment that can cause damage to the inside of the tank. Draining the tank once a year can rid the tank of these minerals, helping your water heater last longer and run more efficiently.
  3. Replace the anode rod. Water heaters have an anode rod that attract minerals to reduce rust and corrosion of the tank. These rods are meant to rust and corrode, needing to be replaced every few years to continue protecting the tank.

Some homeowners choose to perform water heater maintenance on their own, while others call their local plumber. Either way, performing maintenance can help increase the lifespan of water heaters and prevent damaging leaks. If your water heater does need repair, call your local plumber for assistance.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

3 Ways to Make Your Water Heater Last

Replacing a tank water heater can be expensive, but if you maintain your heater, it can last much longer. With good maintenance, many tank water heaters can last 15 years or longer. However, homeowners often forget about water heater maintenance, which can shave years off the lifespan of their appliance.

Water heaters wear out from the constant heating and storage of water. This puts stress on the metal tank and the heating elements, especially due to the minerals that are released from the water. There are simple ways to reduce this stress and prolong the life of your water heater, including these three tips:

  1. Keep 120-degree temperature. You want your water to be hot enough to kill bacteria, but not overly hot which can put extra stress on the tank and run up your energy bills. Keep your temperature at 120-degrees, a safe level for your needs.
  2. Drain the tank annually. Releasing the minerals and sediment in the tank can help reduce corrosion and help keep the heating elements efficient. You can do this yourself or your local plumber can do this as part of an annual service.
  3. Replace sacrificial anode rod. There are sacrificial anode rods in tank water heaters. These are meant to attract minerals to reduce corrosion occurring in the tank but will slowly disintegrate as they do their job and need replacement.

By doing these three maintenance items, along with repairs as needed, you can get more years of life from your tank water heater. Make it easy by scheduling annual service for your water heater with a local plumber. They can drain your tank and check the anode rods and other parts, replacing components as needed to keep your water heater maintained.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Water Heater Sacrificial Anodes

Most homeowners give very little thought to maintaining their water heaters.  For most, the water heater sits quietly in the attic, basement or garage where it is ignored for years until the day it stops working or starts leaking.  Then, the plumber is called to replace the water heater with a new water heater and after the water heater installation, it is ignored again until the cycle repeats itself.

Under these conditions, a typical water heater lasts about 10 to 12 years before the tank corrodes through and starts to leak.  A leaking tank is the most common reason for a water heater replacement is which is too bad because with a little maintenance, a water heater can last 20 years or more.

Water heaters slowly corrode from the inside out.  To stop the tank from corroding, water heaters are built with sacrificial anodes which are soft metal pipes inside the tank.  These pipes corrode instead of the tank.  The rate of corrosion varies depending on the quality of the construction, amount of minerals in the tap water, and other factors but a typical anode lasts about six years.  Some water heaters are equipped with two anodes that together will last about twelve years.

Once the sacrificial anodes have corroded away, the tank will start corroding and within a few years the tank will corrode through and start leaking.  Replacing the anodes before they are completely used up will help the tank last much longer.

Replacing the anode on your water heater is a moderately difficult task.  Depending on how and where the water heater is installed, replacing the anodes may involve removing the water heater.  Since there is no way to tell how much of the anode is left without removing it from the tank, the best way to handle water heater anode replacement is to have a single anode replaced every 5 years and double anodes replaced every 10 years.  This will help insure that your water heater tank is protected against  corrosion.  Unless you are very comfortable with your skill level, this is a job that should be handled by an experienced plumber.