If you’re lucky, you’ll get eight years out of your water heater. However if you take a few minutes a year to perform basic maintenance on it, you can double its lifespan.
Most traditional water heater tanks are steel-lined with glass or porcelain. As time takes its toll, deterioration and oxidation are likely to take hold of the heater’s tank causing leaking. Some tanks leak very slowly and quietly that you won’t notice anything until you’ve stepped in it. Other tanks make a big production of leaking and you’ll see the damage right away.
In order to extend the life of your water heater, try the following tips:
Use water softeners:
If you live in an area that has hard water – when the water has a high mineral content – you probably already have water softeners installed in your tank. If not, install softeners because they help keep your plumbing system from wearing out by, you guessed it, softening the water as it travels through the system.
Add another anode rod:
These rods are made of magnesium or aluminum and are meant to galvanize and corrode over time in your water heater. The rods are meant to draw the corrosion to themselves keeping it out of your tank.
Clean your tank:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but regularly flushing out your tank will discourage sediment buildup. Newer water heaters have self-cleaning mechanisms, so if you’re in the market for a new water heater, you might as well go with the self-cleaners to save yourself some time!
Try an expansion tank:
When water is heated, it expands leading your tank to produce additional volume when it’s not necessary. If you have a closed system – there’s a valve that keeps water from flowing back into your water main – the water has nowhere to go and just sits there expanding and contracting like it owns the place. An expansion tank uses less water because it doesn’t cause rapid increases and decreases in water pressure creating damage to not only to your water heater but to your plumbing as well.
Put in a PRV:
A pressure regulating value reduces pressure and wear and tear on your water tank. These usually go hand in hand with expansion tanks. It’s best to invest in both if you’re trying to extend the life of your water heater.
Tankless water heaters usually last twice as long as traditional tanks and use less energy to function.