However, if it is appropriately managed, it is not uncommon for homeowners to use them for well over their intended useful life. Most water heaters tend to keep on working even after their useful lives, but due to the sediment buildup, it loses its efficiency over time. Standard water heaters can last between 7-12 years. Electric heaters may go up to the 12-year mark, but gas heaters may only have a lifespan of 5-7 years. The expectancy rates are usually dependent upon the maintenance, the location, the design, quality of water, and its specification. Hence, buying the right water heater is essential, but you can optimize the performance of your current system through the following maintenance tips.
Consulting the handbook
Whatever appliance you buy, it comes with a manual that contains tons of content that we typically tend to ignore. However, it’s not the typical Yada yada yada that we expect to be as it includes specific maintenance tips that we can use to improve the efficiency of the machine. If you have lost the book, you can always go ahead and download it from the manufacturer’s website.
To be successful at it, you first need to know the basics which involves shutting off the water and putting on the power for the heater. Storage tank heaters usually work on electricity or are gas powered. For the most part, there are shutoff valves near the cold water lines, while electric models may have cutoff switches. The gas models tend to have gas pipes attached to the units which can be used to cut off the supply.
Tasks to perform
Draining out the sediment along with waste water
Perhaps the first thing that you need to do is to drain out the impurities such as the sediment from the tank that builds up over time. When the cold water flows into the tank, it usually has impurities which can build up at the bottom of the tank. There’s usually a drain valve that can be used to drain off some of the water.
This is performed through:
1. Turning off the water and power
2. Connect and run a hose to the drain valve
3. Open all the taps and leave them open
4. Open up the drain valve and drain some the water. It may be possible for you to turn the
water on and off in efforts to stir up the impurities in the tank
5. Once the water is clear, you can go ahead and close the valve and turn the tank and water
back on again.
6. Once the tank is full, close all the taps and turn the water heater on. It is advisable to avoid turning on the power before its all, as it could damage the tank.
It’s a good practice to this on a periodic base. Some people flush the sediment out every year, and some do it more frequently. It depends really, on the quality of your water heater and tank.
Maintaining the pressure relief valve
This particular valve is located near the top of the tank and is used to pump out any unsafe pressure created inside the container. The goal should be to test the effectiveness of the tank on a regular basis. It helps in preventing explosions and damaging the heater unit. Residue can build inside the tank and can block the opening of the pressure valve. To test the valve, some steps should be followed:
1. Place an object at the extension tube
2. Lift the valve and release the steam pressure. If nothing is happening then its likely that the
valve is not working efficiently.
3. If its ok then you can return it to its original state
Checking on the Anode Rod
Perhaps one of the critical aspects of maintenance involves checking on the anode rod. The anode rod is probably the single most significant factor that determines the longevity of a water heater. It’s a steel core wire, surrounded by zinc, magnesium or sometimes aluminum. Its virtually impossible to judge how long the rod might last, but a safe estimate would be five to 10 years. To extend the lifespan, it is pivotal to change the rod before it starts to rust. If the water tank starts to leak, the whole unit has to, and it could cost you a lot of money. A 40-gallon water heater would cost roughly $400-800 or more at the local store. Hence, it's important to save yourself the expense on purchasing and installing it and the energy savings
Performing. These tasks will do a world of good in increasing the longevity of your water heater and will keep you from spending an excessive amount of money on a regular basis.
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