As one of the most used appliances in your home, it’s not surprising your water heater needs to be made of sturdy stuff! Water heaters supply hot water not only to your tubs, showers, and faucets but also to other appliances that require hot water to operate. Because most water heaters are built so reliably, it’s easy for homeowners to neglect them – assuming they don’t need ongoing maintenance. By failing to maintain your water heater, you could be inadvertently killing your system.
The following two issues are typically responsible for the failure of most unmaintained water heaters:
· Sediment Buildup: Nearly all water contains some mineral deposits, but hard water elements can wreak havoc on your system. If your water has a calcium and magnesium concentration of greater than 60 parts per million, you have hard water. Hard water leaves behind mineral deposits on plumbing fixtures and appliances like your faucets and dishwasher, but it’s particularly damaging to your water heater. When deposits are allowed to build up over time, they can damage your tank, decrease your system’s efficiency, and lead to component failure.
· Corrosion: Water heaters are vulnerable to corrosion because of the constant interaction with millions of gallons of water. Water can be incredibly corrosive at high temperatures – leaving your tank susceptible to failure. The anode rod in your water heater protects your tank from corrosion. Without regular maintenance, your anode rod can become compromised – leaving your system unprotected. You will never know your anode rod is worn unless you’re checking your system regularly.
When unmaintained, your tank is vulnerable to failure, so it’s important to treat your unit like the important system it is within your household. When a water heater fails, the problem can quickly become inconvenient. When purchasing a large appliance like a water heater, the goal is to get as many years of reliable service from the unit as possible. Water heater manufacturers provide a recommended maintenance schedule that can improve the efficiency of your appliance and maintain its reliability. A water heater can be a significant drain on your energy expenditures if it’s left unmaintained and inefficient. You can find your energy costs skyrocketing because of an inefficient water heater.
How to Save Money on Energy Costs by Maintaining Your Water Heater
Most people don’t think about their water heater until it begins to show signs of problems. Once a water heater has fallen into disrepair, your home could experience anything from hot water shortages to tank ruptures. A well-maintained water heater can last over a decade, so you can improve the odds of your appliance lasting for many years simply by taking care of it. Whether you choose to handle maintenance on your own or contact a qualified plumber, your water heater needs regular care, such as:
One of the significant signs your water heater is struggling to perform is sparse hot water supplies.
· Temperature Check: Both gas and electric water heaters have temperature controls. Any scheduled or DIY maintenance should include a temperature check to protect you and those in your home from scalding. As your unit ages, temperature controls can become less reliable, and temperature stacking is a concern. Have your system inspected and checked by a professional if you are concerned about scalding dangers.
· System Flush: Your water heater should be flushed annually. Whether your unit is new or older, it needs to be drained and flushed to help prevent corrosion. A system flush is beneficial to any water heater, but it’s important to check with your manufacturer or work with a qualified professional before beginning a system flush.
· Inspect for Wear and Tear: If you only check your water heater when there’s a problem, you miss your opportunity to prevent costly system repairs or emergency replacements. There are specific systems within your unit that experience high wear and tear, like your anode rod.
· Check or Install Water Heater Insulation: If your pipes are exposed, it can cut into the efficiency of your water heater. If your water heater is insulated, you need to check the tank and pipe insulation. Is it torn? Has it lost its shape? Is it well-fitted? Make sure your insulation is up to standards, and if you notice signs of wear, it should be replaced. Insulation can reduce standby heat loss on traditional water heaters by up to 45%, translating to nearly 20% in heating cost savings.
Call the All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical Team Today!
Water heaters, like any other appliance, will eventually fail after years of wear and tear. You can prolong the life of your system for years with just a little bit of regularly scheduled maintenance and quick intercession in the face of system repairs. If your water heater has never been inspected or received maintenance checks, reach out to the plumbing professionals at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical for assistance. Call us today at (909) 253-0664 for more information about our services.