How to Maximize the Life of Your Water Heater

Nov 14, 2022

Water heaters are your lifeline to sterile, germ-free warm water for cleaning, bathing, and cooking. With a hefty price tag, these essential appliances work hard to power important tasks within your household — and you’d be remiss not to maximize the life of your water heater. This will not only save you money in the long run, but you’ll improve the efficiency of its operations. 

At Canady’s, we offer reliable water heater installation, repair, and maintenance services. We understand how important it is to keep your home running smoothly while conserving energy and ensuring water quality. While the average water heater lasts anywhere between 8 and 12 years, you can extend the service life of your existing water heater — or the next one you purchase — by following our tips below. 

Install a Water Softener

You can extend the life of your water heater by installing a water softener. If you live in a hard water area, your water heater is especially vulnerable to attracting high levels of the minerals that cause corrosion, such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water can change the way water smells, cause hard water stains, and clog shower heads, pipes, and tanks. 

Stop mineral deposit buildup with a water softener system that is gentle on plumbing, doesn’t cause rust damage, and ensures your appliances run smoothly. There are also potential health benefits from the amount of sodium in drinking water from a water softener system. 

Check the Pressure Valve

This short, flat lever is a safety mechanism that is positioned to prevent excess pressure from building up in the tank of your water heater. By releasing small volumes of hot water and steam, the water heater pressure relief valve works to normalize the pressure safely. 

Locate the valve above the tank or up high on either side of the tank and open it slowly — and without force. Be sure to place a bucket under the open valve to collect water that might drip. A replacement may be necessary if the valve appears stuck or damaged, so be sure to call a local water heater maintenance professional. 

Inspect the Anode Rod

Since water heaters have metal rods that attract sediment that often leads to corrosion, the anode rod is in place to prevent these minerals from depositing on the tank. Prevent rusting and leaking by inspecting the rod annually with plans to replace it every 3-5 years. 

Avoid dangerous accidents by turning off the gas or electricity before draining a few gallons of water to help you detect rust or deposit. You’ll know it needs to be replaced if the rod has corroded down from ¾ inch thick to less than ½ inch thick.

Flush the Tank

One of the best things you can do to maximize the life of your water heater is to conduct an annual flush. This will help remove sediment and other buildup that can calcify on the bottom of your tank. Start by turning the thermostat off or to the “Pilot” setting and then open a hot water faucet and let it drop for up to 10 minutes. 

Then shut the cold water valve off so you can attach a garden hose and run the hot water. Turn the water supply back on to effectively flush the tank before closing the drain valve, filling the tank, and turning the water heater back on. 

At Canady’s, we are your local water heater experts. Our team of licensed professionals can help you maximize the life of your water heater while conserving energy and saving money. Contact us to schedule a water heater maintenance check, installation, or repair — or to request a quote today!

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504 Scott Court,
Richmond Hill, GA 31324

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Savannah, GA 31406

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