Did you know that your water heater is one of the top culprits of a flooded basement? This is especially true if you have a waterproof basement – a burst water heater or pipe is the only thing waterproofing can’t completely protect. Replacing one is expensive, so most people hang on to their heaters for as long as possible. If that’s your M.O., read on for some great tips to extend the life of your water heater.
The Part is Essential to Your Water Heater
The anode rod is a replaceable part of the water heater, and if you replace it before it fails, it can save you significant time. The anode rod prevents the inside of the tank from rusting. Most rods last 3-5 years before they need to be replaced, but they can help a tank last much much longer if they are.
Over time, sediment can build up in the tank, and if it builds up enough, it can block the heating element (since it is at the bottom of the tank). This can make the water heater have to work much harder to do the work of heating your water. Flushing the tank can help remove that sediment from the tank and give your heater a longer working life. In most cases, this is best done by a professional plumber.
Pressure Relief Valve
Your water heater has a pressure relief valve. If it doesn’t work correctly, it can cause a significant flooding emergency (in some cases, it can even make the water heater explode). Make sure you are testing the pressure valve at least every two years. You can ask your plumber to show you how to do it or make it part of the yearly maintenance check you have him, or her do.
Hard Water in Water Heater
If you have hard water, installing a water softener will extend the life of your tank. Like scale builds up in any other water appliance, it can build up inside your water heater and cause problems.
The bottom line is that there is no substitute for regular maintenance. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your unit and having a professional service occasionally, you’re setting yourself up for a plumbing emergency. Take the time to check for leaks or cracks and listen for weird sounds, and if you notice anything, have a professional come out immediately.
REFRAIN FROM ATTEMPTING TO FIX THESE ISSUES YOURSELF
Many DIY guides and videos exist, making people feel empowered to handle problems themselves. This concept works well in some cases. However, pipes and fittings have specific applications requiring careful selection of replacement parts. Otherwise, your repair could lead to corrosion or even pipe failure. You could also start the project and realize too late that you’re unsure how to put the parts in the appropriate places.
Make your life much simpler by calling Alpha Plumbing today so our team can care for all your plumbing needs.