9 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater
Looking for small ways to make things last can positively affect your savings long-term. A great example of this is the water heater. Simple maintenance produces better results.
How Long Does a Water Heater Last?
Generally speaking, a water heater lasts between 8 and 12 years. However, there are several tricks you can employ to ensure that you are getting the most from this household tool.
Consider these tips for keeping your water heater functioning as long as possible:
1. Perform maintenance checks.
While it is important to schedule tune-ups with professionals, you can do basic maintenance yourself by checking the heater regularly for cracks or leaks. These must be fixed immediately.
2. Flush the tank annually.
Once or twice a year, drain some water from the tank and inspect it for dirt/debris. A dirty tank means less efficiency and more expensive bills.
3. Test the pressure-relief valve.
The pressure-relief valve provides an outlet in case the pressure inside the tank gets too high. It is important that this is in working order so as to avoid an explosion. To test this, lift the lever; if no water comes out, it needs to be replaced.
4. Invest in an expansion tank.
An expansion tank gives a place for backflow to go, reducing pressure on the main tank and therefore creating a longer lifespan.
5. Inspect gas lines.
This is very important, as any leaks coming from a gas line are dangerous. Examine for cracks and leaks regularly.
6. Inspect the anode rod.
The anode rod is a team player; it keeps the tank from rusting or corroding by taking it all upon itself. Once the rod is corroded, however, rust begins spreading to the tank. Therefore, the anode rod must be regularly examined and replaced when necessary.
7. Insulate your water heater.
Insulating your water heater is a great way to increase efficiency and eliminate wear and tear on the unit.
8. Invest in a water softener.
A water softener will reduce mineral buildup in your water heater, increasing its lifespan.
9. Remove clutter.
Prevent poor air circulation by clearing a space around your water heater. This allows it to function better and reduces the chance of starting any fires.
Understanding how your water heater works is the first step towards creating long-lasting efficiency. A little bit of maintenance now can save you money later and create a happier, more comfortable home.