According to the Department of Energy, a residential water heater typically lasts 10 to 20 years. However, with regular equipment maintenance, you can make your water heater last much longer. Aside from hiring the pros to perform yearly equipment tune-ups and repairs, you should take the time to learn basic water heater maintenance tasks.
Here are 5 water heater maintenance tips every homeowner should know:
Set The Temperature
Setting the water heater temperature only needs to be done one time. It is a fairly easy task to do, so there is no need to call the pros to do it for you. Setting the temperature at 120ºF is ideal for most households as it slows corrosion in the heater and pipes. According to the United States Department of Energy, when set too high, or at 140ºF, your heater can waste from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses.
Flush The Tank
Flushing your water heater tank periodically helps prevent sediment buildup, which can cause a premature tank failure. This water heater maintenance task can be done annually or once every six months. Remember that the method for draining a hot water tank differs depending on the type of water heater.
Check The Anode Rod
The anode rod is one of the most vital components of your water heater. It protects the storage tank from rusting inside. If your water heater’s anode rod has completely corroded, you should replace it right away. Experts recommend the regular checking of your anode rod to reduce the risk of leaks and improve the quality of water in your home.
Insulate The Tank
If you have an older water heater model at home, check to see if it is adequately insulated. If the tank is warm to the touch, it definitely needs additional insulation. The Department of Energy claims that insulating the water tank can reduce standby heat losses by 25% to 45%, which can save you money on your monthly water heating bills.
Clean The Surrounding Area
Make sure to clear the area around your water heater unit for servicing and proper operation. You should maintain a certain amount of air space or clearance on all sides of your water heater. According to Home Guides, a clearance area of 12 inches on all sides would be sufficient.
When It’s Time To Install A New Water Heater
Knowing when it is time to repair or replace your water heater can help you save time and money. Plumbing experts say you can tell if you need a new water heater if you notice these 6 signs:
- Old system age
- Water leaks around the unit
- Rusty water coming out of the tap
- Lack of hot water
- Strange noises coming from your heater
- Metallic smell in the water
To address any issues you have with your water heater at home, hire the service of a professional plumbing company. Talk to the pros today!