A water heater has a 10-year life expectancy. However, with some good maintenance tips, it can last longer. Here are some simple and inexpensive maintenance tips.
Flush the Tank
When water settles in the water heater, some sediment settles at the bottom. Thus, you should consider flushing out the water heater tank a few times a year to prevent corrosion from this sediment.
Besides, over time, the sediment grows on the heater's burner or other electronic components and causes inefficiency of the system. During a flush out, you might need to shut down the heater. However, it's a relatively fast process that takes up little time. Here are the steps for flushing:
- Take a bucket or a small tank.
- Place it below the heater's drain valve. (The valve is at the bottom of the tank)
- Slowly turn the valve in a counterclockwise direction to begin draining.
- Close the valve.
Note that water in the heater is hot, and you need to be careful to avoid burns. If your tank valve refuses to open, don't force it. Instead, seek the services of a plumber to maintain it and restore its functionality.
Reduce the Temperature By a Few Degrees
During water heater installation, most heaters are preset at 140-degrees Fahrenheit. However, the U.S Energy Department recommends households set their water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reducing the temperature can lower heating costs by between 6 and 10%. Additionally, it helps extend the longevity of your heater as it will minimize scalding and consequently slow the mineral deposits accumulating at the bottom of the tank.
You can also lower the temperature if you're using a gas heater. Set the gas valve at 120 degrees Fahrenheit on the temperature dial. On the other hand, if you're using an electric heater, you can:
- Switch off the breaker to turn off any electrical power to the heater
- Find the thermostat panel
- Adjust the temperature (you might need a flathead screwdriver)
- Replace the cover
- Ensure everything is tightly sealed
- Turn on the power in the breaker
Some electrical water heaters use two thermostats. In this case, adjust both and ensure they're set to the same temperature.
Although a water heater is intended to last and is made of high-quality parts, its elements can wear down under pressure. To enhance the durability of your water heater, flush it out a few times a year, and adjust the temperature a little lower. If you live in places with hard water, you might need to flush your unit more regularly.
Contact a company like Affordable Rooter Service to get more tips.