Best Summer Ever Sale Event

Learn More

How to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

Image: a person adjusting a water heater, cover for How to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater.

The water heater is one of your home’s most important major appliances. Without it, you’ll be left in the cold (water). Just like everything else, all water heaters have a lifespan. Meaning you’ll have to replace yours someday.

It is estimated that you should replace your water heater every 10 to 15 years. However, the good news is you can extend the life of your water heater by following some very simple water heater tips.

Flush Your Water Heater Once Every Year

A common issue with water heaters is sediment build up. Sediment is a mixture of minerals, rust, and other debris that can accumulate in the bottom of your tank. This accumulation can impact your water heater’s performance and increase its risk of failure.

The best way to avoid this problem is to flush out your tank at least once per year. Flushing your tank involves draining all the water and refilling it with fresh water. This removes any accumulated sediment inside your tank, keeping it working properly for years.

Need help with how to flush your tank?

Image: a person flushing a water heater.
To flush your water heater tank, you’ll need to locate the drain valve. This is usually located near the bottom of your tank and will have an attached hose that connects to it. Once you find this connection, simply open the valve and let all of the water drain out. You may want to run a sink full of fresh water for about 5 minutes after draining just in case there’s any sediment left behind.

Change the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a metal rod that protects your water heater’s tank from corrosion. The anode rod has a positive electrical charge, attracting the water’s negative ions. Corrosion is caused by these ions combining with metals in your water heater to form rust. The anode rod prevents this by providing a target for the ions to attach themselves to.

For this process to work properly, you must change your anode rod every three to five years. If you don’t, corrosion will eventually cause your water heater to fail. This can lead to expensive repairs and even leaks that could cause damage to other areas of your home.

Image: a corroded anode rod.
The easiest way to tell if it’s time to change out your anode rod is by checking for rust inside your tank. If the tank is rusty, the anode is no longer working as it should.

Consider an Expansion Tank

The expansion tank is a small, unfilled tank that sits on top of the water heater. It’s designed to absorb any excess pressure in the system and prevent damage to your home’s plumbing.

If you have an older water heater, you may not have an expansion tank. If you’re installing a new one or replacing an old one, you should consider getting one.

An expansion tank is essentially an air-filled bladder that lets the water pressure in your plumbing system expand and contract without causing damage.

Image: an expansion tank on a water heater.
When water pressure increases, the bladder expands; when pressure decreases, it compresses. The expansion tank prevents the water in your plumbing system from overpressurizing and bursting pipes or causing leaks in joints and fittings.

It’s important to note that an expansion tank will not heat water. Instead, it helps prevent pressure fluctuations within your plumbing system by allowing expansion room for cold or hot water.

Test the Pressure-Relief Valve

Pressure release valves are a safety feature on water heaters designed to protect the tank from damage. The pressure release valve is located at the bottom of the tank. It is typically found by looking for an extra pipe coming from the bottom of the heater.

This valve is designed to open if pressure builds up inside the tank. When this happens, hot water will be released from the tank, reducing pressure and preventing damage to any components inside. If this valve were not there, a burst pipe could cause damage to your home or business.

Image: a tool used to measure water pressure.
It’s important to test your pressure release valve regularly to ensure it works properly when needed. A plumber can do this for you during a water heater tune-up if you aren’t sure how to.

Install a Water Softener or Whole House Filter

Most residential water heaters are designed to last anywhere from eight to twelve years. But if you live in an area with hard water, it can reduce that lifespan by several years.

However, the good news is that you can do a few easy things to extend your water heater’s life. For example, installing a whole-house filter or a water softener will help reduce the amount of calcium and magnesium, which is what causes lime build up on everything from pipes to faucets.

Keep your home’s water heater in good working condition by booking a water heater tune-up with the plumbing professionals at Adeedo. 

Skip to content