How to Easily Prolong the Life of Your Water Heater

I have been blabbering from my previous posts about the water heater as an expensive investment. As we all know, purchasing a water heater is quite pricey, however it is a great buy since we can use and benefit from it for a long time.

A typical water heater lifespan is about 10-20 years since the day of purchase. Seems that is not that long for you? Then, let us prolong its lifespan and say, let us add another 10 by simply having a quick read of this article.

Here, I can give you the 3 basic steps on how to prolong, extend the life and the service of your water heater.

Check the Pressure Valve. Your water heater whether it is gas or electric, is armed with a safety feature called the temperature pressure feature relief valve. It is also known as TPR valve or T&P valve. The TPR valve will open when too much pressure or heat countering the unit to explode and be damaged. If your valve seem to be malfunctioning, this is due to the sediments and residues that build up in the water heater causing blockages to the valve’s opening. To prevent this from happening and for your water heater to extend its lifespan, have a regular check up on the heater’s valves. You can do it at least quarterly for an excellent performance.

How to check the pressure valve:

  • First, turn off the unit.
  • Then, open and close the valve a few times.
  • After doing such, monitor the flow of the water in the drainpipe. To know that your valve is not malfunctioning, check if the the water will flow when the valve is open.
  • If there is no water flow after you open the valve, it is a sign for you to buy a new TPR (Temperature Pressure Relief) valve.

Flush or Drain the Sediment Buildups. As time goes by and whilst you are using the water heater, it cannot be denied that there will be residues and sediments that will build in the heater’s tank. This is more likely to happen if you’re using hard water. With this, a lot of damage can happen in your water heater. Thick layers of sediment will cause your unit to work double time and this will corrode in your tank’s walls over time, and will eventually lead to a leak. To avoid such from happening, drain the sediments by flushing out the water in the tank at least once a year.

How to flush or rain the sediments buildups:

  • Shut down the unit for safety purposes.
  • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve of the hot water system. Turn on the water supply from the garden hose to allow the sediments to flow through the garden. Make sure it goes through floor drain or bathtub to avoid flooding.
  • Use a strainer or colander to strain the sediments to prevent possible blockage.
  • Turn off the cold water supply and run one of the hot water faucets in your house.
  • Open the drain valve and let the tank empty itself. Do not be surprised because the water that’s first to come out is discoloured and sticky, but it will come out clear as the sediment leaves.
  • If the sediment starts to block, turn on the cold water in a short but abrupt manner to wash the block away.
  • Once the tank is empty, close the drain valve and partially fill the tank with cold water and drain it again. Repeat this process until the water is clear.
  • Check if the hot water is already flowing. If it does, turn on the unit. Good job! You have successfully cleared your tank out with residues and sediments.

Examine the Anode Regularly. Rust, no matter how we despise it, it will happen and come to us. That is why we use anode rods to help us lessen our corrosion problem. Water heater tanks are commonly equipped with a metal rod that attracts minerals that causes rust.

As we all know, the minerals will become sediments. When these stay for too long inside the tank, it will corrode. That’s why an anode rod is there to protect the lining and the wall of the tank from corrosion. However, when this rod will wear out over the time, your tank will still leak and corrode. Therefore, examine your water heater tank and the anode rod yearly and replace the rods every 3-5 years.

How to examine the anode rod:

  • Always shut off your water heater tank when inspecting the rods.
  • Drain a few gallons of water from the tank to know if it is dispersing.
  • Loosen the hex nut located at the top of the tank. The rod is directly attached to it.
  • When you can notice a thick and massive layers of deposits at some portions of the core wire, then it is time to change it.

To prolong the life of your water heater, follow these quick and easy steps. Trust me, if you do it patiently and courageously, your unit’s lifespan will extend.