Many of our “working machines” require routine maintenance to keep them in proper working condition. Things we look at each day, such as our vehicles, typically receive this maintenance; however, water heaters, hidden away from sight and mind, are often forgotten. Investing a little time now into the inspection of your water heater can save you a lot of time and money down the road.
7 Steps You Can Take to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater
1. Schedule routine maintenance.
Like any household appliance, water heaters wear down and develop problems over time. Much like you would inspect something big in your home like the foundation, you should inspect the less noticeable things, such as the water heater. Even loose pipes or a small crack in the heater can lead to major water damage if not intercepted.
2. Ensure the PRV is working properly.
The PRV (pressure-relief valve) is an important safety mechanism in your water heater that releases pressure buildup in the tank. This keeps the tank from exploding. If your PRV is not working properly, you should make repairs immediately.
3. Flush and drain your tank.
Flushing your water tank once or twice a year is a great way of checking dirt buildup on the inside. Too much debris sitting in your bottom of your tank can reduce its efficiency.
4. Replace your anode rod.
The anode rod is an important piece of your water heater that essentially prevents rust and corrosion from reaching the steel makeup of the water heater itself. This rod needs to be checked every year and replaced every 3 or 4 years. A second one can also be added.
5. precautions with your gas lines.
One of the most dangerous problems you can have in regards to your water heater is a faulty gas line. Much like scheduling routine maintenance, ensure that you are checking these regularly and taking precautions against the issue.
6. Look into installing an expansion tank.
Heat expands. When the water in your tank is rapidly heated to such a thorough degree, it expands, which can cause stress and damage to your tank over time. Adding a tank for expansion solves this problem and takes the stress off the main tank.
7. Invest in a water softener.
In addition to flushing your tank annually, adding a water softener to your heater can reduce mineral buildup and extend the lifespan of your tank.