Yes, You CAN Extend the Life of Your Water Heater. Here’s How.

extend life of water heater, replace anode rod, how to drain a water heater

Your water heater is an unsung hero. Thanks to that faithful servant, you have glorious hot showers that help you get going in the morning and relaxing baths at night. (Calgon, take me away!) Your dishwasher wouldn't get those dishes sparkling clean and your laundry would be dingy if it weren't for your trusty water heater. A good tank water heater will last you 10-12 years, but you can extend the life of your water heater if you simply take these steps to provide essential maintenance.

1. Perform a Basic Water Heater Maintenance Check

Once a year you'll want to give your water heater a check up, kind of like taking your car in for a tune up. During that check up, you'll want to inspect the following:

  • The temperature pressure release valve
  • The temperature settings
  • The pipes and/or tank for insulation issues
  • The anode rod (after draining the tank - see the next step)

The annual checklist inspection will take only a few minutes, and naturally leads into the next maintenance step, which draining your tank.

Follow these simple steps to perform a basic water heater maintenance check.

2. Drain and Flush your Water Heater Once a Year

Your water heater keeps a tank of water hot day and night. Sediment builds up in the water inside the tank. This happens because the impurities in the water are heated to the point where they condense into chunks. This sediment collects in the tank, coating the inside of the tank and the anode rod. Bits of sediment float loose in the water, sometimes creating a bit of a rumbling noise.

This sediment build up compromises the efficiency of the tank. Over time, it can cause premature problems. You can minimize these problems and extend the life of your water heater simply by draining and flushing your water heater, a task that takes about 30 minutes and will make a huge difference in the efficiency of your tank water heater.

Read these step-by-step instructions to learn how to drain and flush your water heater.

Replace the Anode Rod Once Every Three Years

All tank water heaters are equipped with something called an anode rod, which is suspended inside the steel tank. The anode rod has a steel core and is coated with either magnesium or aluminum. It exists to slow or prevent corrosion of the tank. An electro-chemical reaction causes the anode rod before the steel tank, thereby protecting it from rusting, which extends the life of your tank water heater.

If you don't replace the anode rod every 3-5 years, your tank itself will corrode much sooner than if you do replace the anode rod. However, this is a job that really should be tackled by a professional plumber. We recommend you have a plumber look at your anode rod once every three years. This can make your water heater last years longer than if neglected.

Need Charlotte Water Heater Maintenance?

Not sure you can drain your water heater or replace the anode rod on your own? We've been working on water heaters since 1997. We'll keep your water heater in tip top shape, at an affordable price. Give us a call or use our online contact form for service today.

extend life of water heater, replace anode rod, how to drain a water heater

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: How can I extend the life of my water heater?

You can extend the life of your water heater by performing a basic water heater maintenance check. During this, inspect the temperature pressure release valve, temperature settings, pipes and/or tank for insulation issues, and the anode rod. Drain and flush your water heater once a year. Replace your anode rod once every three years.

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