How To Extend The Life Of Your New Water Heater

Even though water heaters are not as expensive as new furnaces or air conditioners, they're still quite a big investment. As such, you will want to take steps to ensure your new water heater lasts as long as possible. If you get started with the following care routine when your water heater is new, you should be able to keep it running soundly and cleanly for a decade or more.

1. Install a water softener.

Do you have hard water? If you notice mineral deposits on or around your faucets, or if you notice that your skin is always dry and your shampoo barely lathers, you probably do. Hard water can result in a lot of sediment and mineral buildup in your hot water heater. Install a water softener to remove minerals from the water before the water flows into the hot water heater, and you'll extend the appliance's life. Plus, you won't have to use as much water to try and get your soap to lather!

2. Turn the temperature down.

The hotter you set the thermostat on your hot water heater, the more often it will have to turn on and heat your water. For most people, there's really no reason to keep the hot water tank any hotter than 120 degrees F. You would not want to take a shower hotter than 120 degrees F, and this temperature is hot enough to keep bacteria from growing in the water tank, too. 

3. Turn the water heater off when you go away.

Whenever you go out of town for vacation or work, turn the water heater off before you leave. This way, the water heater will have a few less days of operation per year. The more often it gets a break, the longer it will ultimately last. You also protect yourself against leaks by turning the water off.

4. Drain the tank annually.

If you read your water heater's owner's manual, you will probably find that it recommend draining the tank to remove sediment once a year. Few homeowners actually do this, which is why their water tanks often fail prematurely. Basically, you will need to connect a hose to the bottom drain valve on the water tank, turn off the water supply, and let the hose drain all water and sediment from the tank. Your owner's manual should have more specific instructions applicable to your exact model.

With the tips above, you can extend the life of your new hot water heater. Contact a plumber for more help.