For better or for worse, you are stuck with the water heater you have (unless of course you have a hefty warranty or are able to buy a new one), and that means you probably want to make it last as long as humanly possible. Water heater issues are usually put off and ignored until there is a serious problem, because let’s face it, we have more important things to do! Don’t wait until you are forced to take an Icelandic ice bath, maintain your water heater with these simple steps right away:
1. First and foremost, it is important to know when your warranty has expired for your water heater! Nobody wants to be stuck buying a new water heater when it is the last thing they expected to have to replace. Not only that, but when water-heater warranties expire, they are more likely to fail. To do this, you must look for a rating plate on the water heater that will tell when the tank was manufactured and the warranty plate.
2. Be proactive when switching out water heaters in the beginning stages. This will help drastically, because any errors made in the beginning will shorten water heater life. For example, if you are changing from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater, there are a few adaptations you may need to make with piping and unit space. It is better to not rush through it, but to take the time to do research on what is needed for that specific heater.
3. Proactively change the anode rod. What is an anode rod? An anode rod is what helps your water heater to prevent succumbing to rust and corrosion. With that in mind, they need to be changed every couple of years, if not more frequently. If this is done it will prolong the life of your water heater significantly, possibly by as much as 30 years. If the anode rod isn’t changed in the first few years of the water heater’s life, then it may be impossible to remove later once it is too corrupted.
4. Periodically drain the water heater by attaching a hose to the draw off at the bottom of the tank, turn the water supply off, and then turn the water supply on and off a few times quickly to create a turbulence that will wash out the mineral build up. This will help drain the collection of calcium and magnesium to prevent excessive build up.
5. If you find a leak, don’t panic. Turn the water off on the cold-water side and attach a hose onto the draw-off and drain the tank below the level of the leak. If you find that at this point your water heater needs to be replaced, call your local professional plumber. If you own a home in the Nashville area and are in the need of plumbing assistance, feel free to give Jack Ward & Sons a call at (615) 227-2811 today!