Even though it may be out of sight in a closet or under the home, your water heater should never be out of mind. After all, it’s essential not only for showering and bathing but also for heating the water used by your washing machine and dishwasher. Unfortunately, the constant use of this appliance can wear it down over time.
Traditional water heaters have an average lifespan of only 10 years. Replacing yours will be a priority eventually, but until then, you can take steps to protect its function and extend its lifespan. This guide and your plumber will help you prolong the lifespan of your traditional water heater.
Inspect your water heater regularly to diagnose early signs that your water heater is in distress. By seeing the early warning signs and addressing the problems quickly, you can prevent a complete failure that will require that you replace your water heater.
First, check for water spots or puddles around your water heater. Even a small amount of water could signal a big problem. Use your hands to feel the water heater tank, connections, wall, and floor for any signs of moisture.
Moisture leaking out of your water heater may require a simple repair, such as tightening a connection or replacing a corroded pipe.
Inspect the tank closely for signs of distress as well. Small cracks could indicate that your water heater is corroding inside, which will necessitate an immediate replacement.
Finally, listen for noises during your inspection. Popping and crackling noises coming from the tank of a water heater are most often due to sediment and minerals building up inside the tank.
Another way to extend the lifespan of your water heater is to test the function of your pressure relief valve periodically.
This valve keeps the pressure inside the tank from becoming too high. If the pressure does get too high, the tank may begin to crack and eventually explode. Along with requiring you to replace your water heater, an exploding tank will cause enormous water damage that requires expensive repairs.
A simple test will help determine if your pressure relief valve is working properly.
First, locate the relief valve lever. This is located on the side or top of the water heater tank. Next, lift the lever and wait for a small amount of water to drip out. If no water drips out of the relief valve, it is not functioning properly, which means that you need to have it replaced.
Water moves into your water heater tank from your outdoor water source. During this movement, dirt, dust, minerals, and sediment will also move through into your water tank.
As water heats up inside the tank, the interior dirt, sediment, and minerals also heat up. This causes the sediment to harden on the bottom and sides of your water heater tank.
Over time, the hardened sediment will cause your water heater to make noise, and it can also wear down the interior of your tank. You may hear some noises and see slight fissures and cracks in the exterior of the tank.
Flushing the tank is the most effective way to remove this sediment from your water heater, as doing so will remove the risk of leaks and complete failure.
Many homeowners can flush their water heater tanks as on their own. However, if you are not familiar with this task, consider hiring the professionals to flush your tank at least once a year.
Contact Roto-Rooter to inspect, maintain, repair, or replace your water heater today. With over 30 years of experience, we can keep your water heater functioning for as long as possible.