Let's face it. Water heaters have become absolutely essential not only in our homes but our daily lives. They provide hot water for dish washers, washing machines, and more. But how much care do you put into your water heater? Did you know that there are steps that you can take to make your water heater last longer?
Flush the System!
If you don't give your hot water heater at least an annual flushing, sediment deposits from your water supply can build up. As sediment accumulates, it can potentially cause your water heater to malfunction. Now, since sediment collects at the bottom of the tank, draining it isn't always enough. You'll need to actually flush the system, which sounds much harder than it actually is. Your water heater's manual should have detailed instructions on how to properly flush the system. However, do use caution when attempting to flush your water heater tank; it will involve closing off the system's main power source (gas or electric) and could potentially create problems if mishandled.
Just as a note, if you are going to flush your water heater, you'll need certain items like a bucket, a hose, and some gloves to protect your hands from potential hot water spillage.
Check the Anode Rod!
What is the anode rod? Well, the anode rod is how your water heater deters interior corrosion. Basically, the anode rod hangs inside the water heater, suspended in the water. The rod uses electrolysis to attract corrosion-causing substances that may be present in the water itself. As a result, it's the anode rod that will rust over time and not the interior of your water heater; that's probably why the anode rod is also sometimes called the sacrificial anode. The best time to check the anode rod is while you're flushing the system, which is rather convenient since you can possibly do your water heater maintenance in one day. If your anode rod is looking warped and thin, it's probably time to replace it. Most systems will feature a rod that can be easily screwed out.
Performing these types of maintenance will increase the longevity of your water heater. However, they do require a bit of elbow grease and some hands-on treatment. That being said, if maintaining your water heater is something you aren't entirely comfortable with, call a professional. They'll not only be able to perform the necessary maintenance, but they'll also be able to help you optimize your water heater's efficiency as well as diagnose any other issues you may be having.