Everyone knows a water heater is something you will have in your house for years, but how much do you know about it? You probably turn on the hot water whenever you need it without giving it a second thought. While there are different ways to extend the life of your water heater (regular water heater flushes are a must!), here are five simple tips to help extend the life of your water heater.

Flush Your Water Heater Once Per Year

If your water heater has been around for more than five years, you should consider flushing it out. Flushing cleans and removes sediment from the tank. This sediment can build up over time and affect the performance of your water heater. The sediment also increases the risk of corrosion in older tanks, leading to significant problems.

If you don’t want to hire a professional to flush out your water heater, there are ways that you can do this yourself with some basic tools. However, it’s recommended that you leave this task to professionals because they have more experience doing this type of work than most homeowners do.

Change the Anode Rod

Anode rods are the sacrificial rods in your water heater. They’re made of magnesium or aluminum, and they protect the rest of your tank from corrosion.

The anode rod protects the steel tank from corrosion by removing sulfur and other minerals that corrode steel. When these minerals come into contact with an anode rod, they are neutralized, preventing them from causing damage to the rest of your water heater.

As time passes, you will notice a white residue building up on your anode rod. This is normal, and it shows that it’s doing its job. Anode rods generally need replacing every three to five years. When there’s rust in the tank, you know it’s time to replace the anode rod.

Consider an Expansion Tank

The expansion tank is a device that is attached to the water heater. Its main job is to regulate pressure in the system. If you have a water heater, it’s very important to know how your system works and what role the expansion tank plays.

The expansion tank will help deal with any pressure issues in your system. This is especially true if other appliances draw water from the same line as your water heater. This increases the pressure on both sides of the switchover valve, which can cause problems with your plumbing system and your appliances.

A properly maintained expansion tank will prevent any damage from high pressure in your plumbing system. In addition, this helps prevent costly repairs down the road because of leaks or cracks caused by thermal stress in certain areas of your home’s plumbing system.

Test the Pressure-Relief Valve

A pressure release valve, also known as a pressure relief valve, is an integral part of any hot water system. The purpose of the PRV is to protect your home and family by preventing a dangerous buildup of pressure in your water heater.

A water heater’s PRV is designed to release excess water when it reaches a certain level. This reduces the chances that it will burst or crack from the pressure.
Why test your pressure release valve? The simple answer is to prevent damage to your plumbing system and equipment. A burst pipe or broken appliance caused by excessive pressure could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. If you fail to regularly test this part of your system, you may be at risk for costly repairs down the road.

The best thing to do is hire a plumber to test your pressure relief valve once a year during a water heater tune-up. They’ll determine whether the valve is in good working order or needs immediate replacement.

Install a Water Softener or Whole House Filter

The average water heater lasts 10 to 12 years, but there are ways to extend its lifespan. The most effective way is installing a whole-house filter or a water softener.

A whole-house filter can remove sediment and chlorine from your water supply, which increases the life of your tankless or traditional tank-style water heater. A high-quality whole-house filter will also remove minerals such as iron and sulfur from your water supply, which can corrode and clog pipes over time.
A water softener is another excellent option for extending the life of your water heater because it will reduce scale buildup and corrosion inside the tank.

Installing these two types of systems should significantly increase the lifespan of your water heater and save you money on replacement costs in the long run.
Keep your home plumbing in top working condition by booking your next water heater tune-up with the pros at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air.

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