16 Apr Will Regular Water Heater Repair and Maintenance Extend the Life of My Unit?
More often than not, people realize how valuable to a home water heaters are only when they stop working. To protect yourself from unexpected problems, it’s essential to look for signs of trouble. It also helps to perform water heater repair and maintenance checks from time to time.
Conducting small maintenance tasks a few times each year can significantly extend the lifespan and improve your water heater’s efficiency. Check out these tips to keep your water heater functioning well for a long time.
Give Your Heater Adequate Space
Most homeowners make the mistake of crowding their water heater – don’t be one of them. Always give your heater plenty of room so you can easily look for issues and conduct maintenance tasks. Additionally, your heating unit requires room for circulation. Leaving enough space around the water heater means you reduce the possibility of fires.
Drain a few gallons of water out of your heater at least once every six to 12 months. Put the drained water in a bucket and inspect its quality. If the water is filled with dirt and debris, it’s a clear sign that your heater needs a full cleaning – and the sooner, the better.
Dirt build-up in your water heater tank can drastically reduce its efficiency. Because the system works harder than it should heat large quantities of water, your energy bills will likely go up.
Adding insulation just needs to be done once, but the effects last for as long as your heater does. Insulating the hot-water pipe reduces heat loss by as much as 45%, while insulating the cold-water pipe prevents condensation in summer. This means you can save up to 9% on your energy bill, if not more.
To insulate the pipes, measure them to find their diameter, and buy some foam pipe insulation – preferably the self-sticking kind – that matches it. Peel off the tape and then squeeze the insulation foam closed around the pipe.
Inspect the Gas Lines
Do you own a water heater that’s attached to gas lines? Then this component needs to be routinely checked as well to try and avoid expensive water heater repair. Any corrosion or damage to these pipes should be repaired immediately. If you suspect a leak in your gas line, be sure to take the necessary precautions and call a professional to help you fix it.
Check the Heater’s Anode Rod
Typically, anode rods can last for three to five years, although you can opt for water heater models that have a second anode rod to extend the heater’s life.
That said, checking the anode rod is something that should be done annually. This maintenance task shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s best to call a professional to handle it. If it turns out that the anode rod is almost or completely corroded, it’s time to have it replaced.
Your heater won’t always function correctly when you need it to – that’s why it helps to be proactive when it comes to water heater repair and maintenance. Keeping your heater in top shape will not only save you money but also save you from future stress and headaches.