Traditional water heaters usually last eight to ten years or more before they need to be replaced. The water heater is one of the appliances most don’t think about too often, but it’s one that is used quite frequently and definitely missed when it’s not working properly. From showers to laundry and dishwashing, most people use hot water more than they realize and can’t do without it comfortably for too long. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that homeowners can do to help extend the life of their unit, avoiding premature Water Heater Replacements.
One of the most simple but important tips to substantially extend the life of the hot water heater is to flush the tank annually. The tank that holds the hot water tends to accumulate sediment inside. The sediment comes from minerals in the water that leach out when the water is heated for a prolonged period of time. This sediment sitting in the base of the tank can cause the tank to corrode. Initially, the erosion isn’t visible upon examination but, when it is, it’s most likely that irreparable damage has been done and the tank must be replaced. By emptying and flushing the tank annually, the sediment is removed, lessening its chance to do damage to the unit.
The anode rod is something few tend to check, but it’s a simple way to help avoid corrosion and extend the life of the hot water heater tank. Unfortunately, the anode rod is not accessible in all tanks but, if it is accessible, it’s important to examine it every couple years. The anode rod can be thought of as a “sacrificial” piece of metal in the tank. This rod is usually made of steel covered with magnesium, zinc, or aluminum, making it much more susceptible to corrosion than the steel tank, meaning it will corrode well before the tank will. Upon inspection, if the rod is thinned out or corroded, it must be replaced to avoid the next step of damage in the tank. The piece, if accessible, simply screws out for replacement.
No one wants to deal with Water Heater Replacements but, fortunately, with a little care, the life of the unit can be extended. When the time come to inevitably replace the unit, websites such as can help locate a local qualified plumbing company to handle the job.
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