January 22, 2024
By Mark Paup

How to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater – Tips for Homeowners

As a homeowner, you rely on your water heater for various daily tasks, from warm showers to cleaning dishes. But have you ever wondered how to make your water heater last longer and avoid costly replacements? In this blog post, brought to you by Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we’ll explore valuable tips to extend the life of your water heater and keep it running efficiently.

How can I make my water heater last longer?

  1. Regular Maintenance: Like any other appliance, water heaters require regular maintenance. Schedule an annual professional inspection to check for leaks, sediment buildup, and potential issues.
  2. Adjust the Temperature: Lowering the temperature setting on your water heater can reduce wear and tear. Most households find a setting between 120-140°F to be both safe and energy-efficient.
  3. Install a Water Softener: If you live in an area with hard water, consider installing a water softener. Hard water can lead to mineral buildup in the tank, reducing efficiency and lifespan.
  4. Insulate Your Tank: Insulating your water heater tank and pipes can help retain heat, reducing the need for constant heating and, in turn, prolonging the heater’s life.

Does flushing your water heater extend its life?

Flushing your water heater is an essential maintenance, significantly extending its life. Over time, sediment and minerals accumulate at the bottom of the tank, leading to reduced efficiency and potential damage. Here’s how to flush your water heater:

  1. Turn off the power or gas supply to the heater.
  2. Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
  3. Open a hot water faucet in your home to allow air into the tank.
  4. Open the drain valve and let the water flow into a suitable drain or bucket.
  5. Close the drain valve once the water runs clear.
  6. Turn the power or gas supply back on.

Flushing your water heater annually can help prevent corrosion and maintain its efficiency.

What’s the average life expectancy of a water heater?

The average lifespan of a water heater can vary depending on factors like the type of heater and maintenance. Typically:

  • Traditional tank water heaters: 8-12 years
  • Tankless water heaters: 20+ years
  • Proper maintenance can help you reach or even exceed these averages.

Does replacing the anode rod extend life?

Replacing the anode rod in your water heater can significantly extend its life. An anode rod is a sacrificial component that attracts corrosion and prevents it from affecting the tank. Over time, the anode rod can deplete, and the tank can rust if left unchecked. Replacing the anode rod every 3-5 years can help protect your water heater and maximize its lifespan.

Taking steps to extend the life of your water heater saves you money in the long run and ensures you have a reliable source of hot water for years to come. These simple actions can make a big difference from regular maintenance to flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod. If you need professional assistance with your water heater maintenance or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical for expert guidance and service.

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