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6 Best Ways to Avoid Water Heater Damage and Repair

6 Best Ways to Avoid Water Heater Damage and Repair

An average water heater typically lasts for 10 years, but as with any other appliance in your home, wear and tear and the inevitable effects of time damage the connections or tank of your water heater. Over time, it fails and may suddenly just stop working. In the worst case, water heater repair is not enough and you will need to buy a replacement.

To keep your water heater installation running optimally for a long time, here are some tips to consider:

1. Put insulation.

When you increase your water heater’s insulation, heat loss is reduced by up to 45%. An extra layer of insulation also allows you to cut down costs for heating water by around 9%.

2. Clean your water heater out regularly.

To avoid expensive water heater repair, always clean out your unit. Remove sediment build-up and flush out the tank at least semi-annually. Simply attach a garden hose to the valve at the base of your water heater to flush everything out. Don’t forget to turn the power off and wait for the hot water to cool before flushing.

3. Inspect the anode.

6 Best Ways to Avoid Water Heater Damage and Repair1One of the most common problems that require water heater repair is corrosion. A so-called “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in your tank to prevent rust from causing serious damage. This rod should be inspected annually to check how badly it’s been corroded so you’ll know if a replacement is needed.

4. Get a new water heater installation.

Do you own an old heating unit? Then maybe it’s time to think about getting a new one. Electric heaters typically last for 15 years while gas heaters can last for 10 years. Also, if you have a large household, consider buying a bigger tank to supply the hot water needs of your family.

5. Choose the right unit for your household.

Before purchasing a new water heater, check the energy label and look at the first-hour rating (FHR). If you’ve been a longtime tank-style heater owner, consider the benefits of going tankless. It uses less energy because it does not store hot water. Instead, the unit switches on and only heats up the cold water when you turn the hot water in your sink or shower on.

6. Test valves at least once a year.

Temperature relief valves work by preventing your tank from exploding in case the temperature or pressure is over the safe limit. Unfortunately, this part often fails and requires water heater repair. Homeowners should have the valve tested at least once a year during scheduled maintenance services.

If you want to do it yourself, simply pull the handle up to make sure that free-flowing water comes out and stops once you let go of the handle. Check for drips in the valve, and replace it in case there is a leakage. To get rid of sediment buildup, just flush out the heater once every year.

Let’s face the facts: your water heater won’t last forever. It’s eventually going to fail and when it does, the damage that comes after it will likely be catastrophic. If you notice something wrong with your unit, call for water heater repair ASAP. Consider investing in water heater maintenance services too so you won’t have to worry about costly repairs or serious damage in the future.