If properly maintained, a water heater should last you for many years to come before it needs any serious repair or total replacement. Of course, no homeowner wants to spend hundreds of dollars or more on a new water heater sooner than necessary. Fortunately, there are a few simple maintenance steps and tips that all homeowners can follow to extend the life of a traditional water heater, thus saving them time and hassle down the road.
Consider a Water Softener
First of all, if you don't have a water softener already and your home has a hard water supply, you might consider spending a few hundred dollars to have a softener installed. A water softener will remove minerals and other debris from your water before it passes through your water heater tank to be heated. Softer water is not only better for your water heater, but for the rest of your home's plumbing system as well.
Have the Tank Flushed
Each year, it's a good idea to have your home's entire plumbing system inspected by a trained and experienced professional. As a part of your inspection, they should include flushing your water heater's tank. This is a great way to remove sediment and other debris that can build up over the course of a year and eventually cause damage to the tank itself.
Turn the Temperature Down
If you're going out of town or won't be in your home for an extended period of time, why have your water heater work any harder than it needs to? Consider turning the heater temperature down to the lowest setting while you're gone to save on wear and tear. You'll also save a bit on your water bill, so it's a win-win situation. Just don't forget to turn the temperature back up as soon as you get home so you have warm water for your next shower or load of laundry/dishes!
Replace the Anode Rod
A water heater has a anode rod, which is a small mechanism that helps to protect your tank against rust, corrosion, and leaks. However, the lifespan of that rod can vary greatly, so you should have it checked out every few years to ensure it doesn't need replacing. The good news is that replacing an anode rod is a very inexpensive project, but doing so can add years to the life of your tank, so it's more than worth it. Contact a company like Golden Gate Well Drilling & Water Conditioning for more information.