Courtesy Plumbing

How to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

A busted water heater can be a costly event. The cost of replacing a water heater can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. And if the water heater chooses to go out with a bang, you could be looking at other repairs including water damage. As with most things, the better you take care of your water heater, the longer it will last. Here are some tips to extend the life of your water heater.

Hard WaterBuild-up in pipes

Hard water is a water heater's worst nightmare, both tank storage and tankless water heaters are susceptible to mineral deposits that buildup over time. It is particularly bad because hard water has a lot of minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Over time, the excessive buildup can cause corrosion and prevent the water heater from functioning properly. You can avoid this by installing a water softener or whole house water filtration system.  These systems help reduce the amount of hard minerals in your water, which reduces the amount of buildup over time. This can greatly extend the life of your water heater and other water-using appliances as well.

Check the Pressure Valve

Water heater with the pressure valve circled redAll water heaters, both gas and electric have what is known as a temperature pressure relief valve. Pressure relief valves are designed to open up when too much pressure or heat is detected. This prevents damage to the tank and a dangerous explosion. Over time, sediment can buildup which inhibits the function of this valve. To counteract the natural sediment buildup that occurs over time, make it a point to check this valve several times a year. To do this turn off the gas or power supply. Then open and close the valve a few times. Monitor the water that pours out as a properly functioning valve will release water when open. Checking the valve on a regular basis can help extend the life of your water heater.

Drain and Flush the Tank

Once or twice a year depending on the condition of the water in your area, the water heater should be drained and flushed. This goes for both tank storage and tankless water heaters. This helps reduce the amount of sediment that naturally builds up over time. The best way to ensure that this gets done is to have a service agreement with your local plumbing company. Instead of you trying to remember when this should be done, the plumbing company will remind you and take care of it for you. This is also a great way to protect the warranty on your water heater.

With proper maintenance tank storage water heaters will last about 12-15 years, with tankless water heaters lasting around 20 years. The more routine you are with the maintenance, the longer your water heater will last, and the more efficient and effective it will be. To learn more contact Courtesy Plumbing today!