When it comes to a damaged hot water heater, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. The cost to replace a damaged water heater can get expensive, and depending on the damage caused, you may be looking at interior repairs on top of the appliance replacement. As with many things, if you take care of your water heater, it will last longer. Keep reading to learn a few things you can do to help yours last as long as possible.
Prevent Hard Water
Hard water is an absolute nightmare for water heaters due to the mineral deposits that can accumulate over a period of time. Hard water is the worst because it contains excess minerals like magnesium and calcium. Over time, the accumulation of minerals is likely to result in corrosion and keep the appliance from functioning properly. This can be avoided by having a water softener or whole-home water filtration system installed. These water systems are designed to reduce the amount of hard minerals that remain in your water, which can help to reduce how much accumulates in your water heater tank over time, thereby extending your appliance's life.
Inspect the Pressure Relief Valve
Regardless of whether your water heater is powered by electricity or gas, it will have a temperature-pressure relief valve. These valves are designed to open when there is too much heat or pressure detected in an effort to prevent damage to the water heater tank and a very dangerous explosion. However, sediment buildup can keep this valve from functioning properly. To ensure the valve continues to function the way it should, inspect it periodically. In order to do this, the power supply should be turned off, and then the valve should be opened and closed several times. If the valve is functioning properly, water should be released. If no water is released, this valve needs to be replaced.
Drain and Flush the Water Heater Tank
Your water heater needs to be drained and flushed at least once per year, as this will also help to reduce the amount of sediment that builds up inside of your tank. While this can be a do-it-yourself task, it is recommended to have a professional plumber do it to ensure it is done correctly. In addition, by having a professional do it, you can set up an agreement with the plumber so that you don't have to remember when it needs to be done. The plumber will contact you to remind you that needs to be done and take care of the job for you. If you have a warranty on your hot water heater, this type of maintenance will help keep it intact.
By taking care of your water heater, you can expect your appliance to last up to 20 years, depending on the type of water heater you have. For more information, contact a plumbing service in your area.