Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Water Heaters

Everything You Need to Know about Water Heater Maintenance

Water heaters account for approximately 25% of your home's energy use. By performing routine maintenance a few times each year, you can optimize your energy costs and extend the life of your unit. Most systems have a lifespan of 8 – 12 years. You can extend this lifespan with proactive steps to keep your water heater running in top form.

Water heaters comprise a large tank where water is heated and connected to pipes where that heated water is distributed to fixtures. Over time, sediment accumulates and settles at the bottom of the tank. Sediment build-up diminishes efficiency and can erode the tank. Regularly inspect your water heater as part of your routine maintenance with Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Sacramento.

7 Easy Things to Do to Increase Your Unit Longevity

  1. Flushing your water heater tank minimizes this sediment build-up. Simply disconnect the power for electric water heaters or shut off the gas for gas-powered units and attach a garden hose to the drain valve. Allow the water to flow out to a safe location until it runs clear. Refill the water heater tank by attaching the garden hose to the water supply valve.
  2. Inspect the pressure relief valve by carefully lifting it to see if water runs out. If water runs out, the valve is in working order. If no water runs out, the valve likely needs to be replaced. Mr. Rooter Plumbing will replace broken valves and check the rest of your unit for any other malfunctions.
  3. Water temperature regulation is essential to controlling energy efficiency and ensuring your water heater unit isn’t working overtime. Check the settings on your temperature valve to keep it running between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water heater is too high, scalding water can increase energy bills and degrade your plumbing fixtures.
  4. Insulating your water pipes is recommended to reduce heat loss and increase energy efficiency. Insulating your pipes protects them from freezing during cold months and helps regulate the water temperature year-round. Mr. Rooter Plumbing offers pipe insulation services at a reasonable flat rate.
  5. Your water heater may contain moving parts, such as circulating pumps. Lubricating these parts keeps them working in prime condition. The manufacturer's recommendation may vary from unit to unit but should be followed to keep your water heater operating smoothly.
  6. If you have a gas water heater, clean the burner and the combustion chamber to keep them free of dust and debris. It is also important to have a plumbing professional check for gas leaks in the lines to guarantee your unit is safely operating without the risk of harmful fumes expelling into your home.
  7. Your water heater’s anode rod is a medal rod intended to protect the tank's lining from material that would otherwise corrode it. It is often called a sacrificial rod because it collects the mineral debris to protect the tank. Over time, the rod degrades and needs replacing. The anode rod needs to be replaced about every 5 years. If neglected, the rod can break and settle on the bottom of your tank, potentially cracking the lining and causing it to rust. This threatens your water heater unit and the safety of your water supply.

Extending the life of your water heater unit will save thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Following these tips will keep your unit in optimal working order for years longer than neglected systems. Water heaters are complex units, and relying on DIY maintenance can be dangerous. Mr. Rooter Plumbing offers comprehensive water heater services with customer satisfaction guaranteed. We will thoroughly inspect your unit, repair damaged lines or fixtures, insulate your pipes, and accurately set the pressure and temperature valves to keep your energy efficient and water supply healthy. Don’t wait for an issue to strike. Contact us today and stay on top of your maintenance. It could save you tons of time and money.