Neglect can take years off your water heater’s lifespan, causing it to fail early and leave you with a big mess and a surprise expense. With just a few simple steps, you can extend the life of a water heater and get more value out of this appliance.
Choose a Moderate Temperature Setting
While it might seem like a high water heater temperature would save you money by letting you use less hot water, high temperatures wear out your tank faster. Instead of the commonly used setting of 140 degrees, keep your water heater at 120 degrees. This kills Legionella bacteria without posing a major scalding risk or damaging the tank.
Inspect the Components Regularly
Every six months, test the pressure relief (TPR) valve on the tank. Gently lift the lever on top of the valve. If you can’t raise the lever or no water comes out when you do, replace the valve. This valve releases excess pressure in the tank and if it fails, the tank could explode.
Inside your tank is a metal rod known as a sacrificial anode that’s designed to protect the tank from corrosion and extend the life of a water heater. Every five years, pull this rod out for inspection and replace it if it’s corroded.
Flush the Tank Regularly
Your water supply contains sand and mineral sediment that gradually accumulates at the bottom of your water heater tank. This buildup creates an insulating effect that impairs your water heater’s efficiency and performance, and can eventually damage the tank.
To flush out the sediment, shut off the power and water supply to the tank, then let the water cool for several hours. Attach one end of a garden hose to the drain valve and run the other end to the outdoors. Open the valve to release the water in the tank. Once the water has drained, turn on the water supply to flush out any remaining sediment.
For help with routine maintenance that will extend the life of a water heater, contact us at Reliance Home Services in the Los Angeles area.