Water heaters are a must-have appliance in your home. They supply hot water, ensuring you have it when you need it for cleaning, cooking, bathing, and more. However, most people don’t realize that these appliances can easily break down if not properly maintained. And if you don’t fix them quickly, you may end up with a flooded mess in your utility room, basement, or crawl space.
Like any other kind of appliance, they need to be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that they’re working as efficiently and effectively as possible. To help you properly maintain it before it fails and leaves you shivering in a cold shower, here is a helpful informative post from our heating and cooling experts.
How Long Is a Typical Water Heater’s Lifespan?
Water heaters can last for 10+ years with minimal maintenance, but problems develop more quickly when they’re neglected and not regularly checked over. Investing in regular inspections and care can actually make it last longer, save you money, and ensure it’s operating as safely as possible.
Over time, hard water deposits in your water heater can develop, which are known to cause damage to the unit and make it work harder, thus raising your energy bills. In most cases, you may need to replace the heat exchanger or (at worst) the whole unit. Spotting damage early, though, could help you avoid bigger issues.
Another way to maintain your water heater is to check the temperature. If you’re constantly setting it to the max, this causes minerals to dissolve faster triggering some serious scale build-up that can impact efficiency and longevity. Check your thermostat to see that it remains around 120 °F, and call a professional to descale your heat exchanger if necessary.
Tips for Cleaning Your Tank Water Heater
Your water heater’s tank needs thorough and regular cleaning if you want it to work efficiently and not become damaged. Every hour of the day, water flows through your tank water heater, picking up minerals and sediment as it flows. These sediments and minerals build up on the base of the tank, and if you don’t clean them out, it won’t heat your water as efficiently.
Flushing a water tank at least once a year is key to preventing clogs and extended run times. However, you have to use the appropriate tools and follow these steps to avoid damaging the tank:
- Ensure that the power is off before starting your cleaning process.
- Flip the drain valve at the bottom of your tank to release the water from the tank. In some cases, you may need to replace your valve if it doesn’t release water. If there’s no issue, you can go on with the cleaning process.
- Connect a water source to the drain valve to refill it with water. Then, drain it again to clean up any sediment and particles inside. You may do the draining twice (or until you see there are no particles coming out) to ensure that any sediment inside is removed.
- After that, you must close the valve tightly and turn it on as usual. If the drain valve will not securely close after the tank is drained, empty the remaining water and remove the old drain valve. Then, replace it with a new one.
- When everything is set, you can restart the unit as usual.
Don’t want to mess with it? If you can’t perform water heater flushing by yourself or you’re unsure about it, you can always ask the help of a professional right here at Airbusters. We’re here and happy to assist!
Do Tankless Water Heaters Require Regular Maintenance?
As its name implies, tankless water heaters don’t use a storage tank to heat water. With the use of a heating element, called a heat exchanger, they will automatically heat the water as it passes through, then deliver it at the desired temperature to your faucets. Mostly, they’re powered by gas or electricity.
However, you may be wondering why on earth they need maintenance when they don’t utilize a tank. There is a common misconception that tankless water heaters are “low-maintenance” devices compared to their traditional counterparts, which is true in some ways, but doesn’t mean maintenance isn’t a must.
The type of water you use in your place will affect the performance of your water heater. Here in Nashville, we use hard water. This water carries lots of minerals (magnesium and calcium), which will build up over time within the heat exchanger. As a result, this mineral build-up blocks water flow and causes it to work overtime to heat your water.
To avoid such a situation, you must have your tankless water heater descaled by a professional once or twice a year.
Reach Out Now for Quality Care
If you want your water heater to run reliably for as long as possible, it’s best to be proactive about regular maintenance. For most people, this will mean having it looked at at least once a year by a professional. A simple inspection will save you time and money in the long run by prolonging the life of the appliance, reducing your energy usage, saving you from costly repairs, and lowering your utility bills.