If you recently had to buy a new water heater, then you know how costly they can be. The good news is that with regular maintenance and inspection, you can make sure your purchase lasts as long as possible. Keep the following tips in mind for maintaining a water heater.
New Water Heater Life Expectancy
Water heaters can last for several years with regular maintenance and inspection. According to manufacturers, conventional water heaters have a life expectancy of eight to 12 years. Tankless water heaters can last as long as 20 years.
Whether you can’t remember when you purchased your water heater or you just moved into a new home and are unsure of the age of your unit, Forrest Anderson can help. Give us a call and share your make, model, and serial number and we’ll be able to find the year for you.
Conventional Water Heater Maintenance
Water heaters with a tank are also called conventional water heaters. They require maintenance tasks from time to time; otherwise, your water heater won’t be able to do its job. You’ll also have a higher chance of it breaking down without proper care.
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Adjust the Temperature
One way to monitor your conventional water heater is by adjusting the temperature setting from time to time. If your unit is in your garage, it probably doesn’t need to be set as high in August, since the outdoor temperature will naturally warm your unit. Lowering the temperature on your heater can save you money on energy costs. As the temperature cools off, you’ll want to make sure your heater’s temperature remains in a safe zone, so your water isn’t so hot that it scalds you.
Drain the Heater
Most manufacturers recommend draining your water heater at least once per year. This cleans out any sediments or minerals that are inside the tank. The draining process involves shutting off the water supply to your heater and using a hose to drain it. If you’re unsure of how to do this, it’s a good idea to let a professional plumber do it for you. While they’re at your house, they can inspect any plumbing issues you may be having as well.
Inspect the Pressure Relief Valve
Once a year, you should have your water heater’s pressure relief valve inspected. A plumber can quickly check to see if there’s a leak. Fixing this is as easy as replacing the valve.
You can do your part in taking care of your new water heater by making sure that there’s enough open space around it. How much space depends on your unit. Most gas water heaters require at least two feet of service clearance. Electric water heaters may not have a minimum clearance requirement. However, there may be codes that recommend workspace clearance. Your plumber will review the manufacturer’s recommendations in the instruction manual as well as follow any local requirements.
Replace the Anode Rod
Your anode rod helps prevent your water heater from rusting. A plumber should check this every three years to determine whether or not your heater needs a new rod. If it’s worn out, covered with calcium deposits, or damaged, your plumber will recommend replacement. This will help your tank continue to run at its optimal level.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Although tankless water heaters don’t hold gallons of water like their conventional counterparts, they still require regular maintenance.
Tankless water heaters can have mineral buildup, which can affect their life expectancy. This is common in areas that have hard water. Descaling is an important maintenance task that removes mineral buildup. Hiring a plumber to handle this job helps ensure that the buildup is fully removed.
Flush the Heater
When you have a new water heater, you’ll need to flush it from time to time. Flushing a tankless water heater helps keep it in good condition for years by clearing out any scaling or sediments. Since this process involves turning off power and water, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. During their visit, they can also check your fans, filtration, vents, and other components.
Just like regularly changing your vehicle’s oil prolongs the life of your car, proper water heater maintenance can lead to longer functioning as well. If it’s time to schedule maintenance for your new water heater, contact Forrest Anderson today.