It can be easy to neglect your water heater. This appliance plays a valuable, but unseen, role in the comfort of your daily life. If your water heater goes out, you will be left without access to hot water until the necessary repairs are made.
The lifespan of your water heater can be extended by completing a few simple maintenance tasks on a regular basis.
1. Make sure the pressure-relief valve is working.
If you have a water heater with a storage tank, it's essential that you check to ensure the pressure-relief valve is working on a regular basis. As the water inside the tank is heated, it expands and exerts a significant amount of pressure on your tank.
The pressure-relief valve is designed to detect when pressure levels get too high. The valve opens automatically to release some pressure before the pressure inside the tank builds to dangerous levels.
You can check to see if your pressure-relief valve is functioning properly by placing a bucket under your water heater's drain pipe and manually opening the valve. If water is released, the valve is working. If not water comes out of the drain pipe after you open the pressure-relief valve, have the valve replaced as soon as possible.
2. Check the sacrificial anode rod.
A specialized rod inside the storage tank of your water heater plays a critical role in preserving the water heater's structural integrity.
The sacrificial anode rod is designed to attract the corrosive sediment that can build up within the water heater's tank. As the rod is attacked by corrosive particles, it will deteriorate.
If you fail to replace a sacrificial anode rod that has reached its expiration date, the corrosive sediment will begin attaching to the interior surfaces of your tank instead. This could result in serious structural failure and leaks that could damage your home. Check the sacrificial anode rod regularly, and replace it when necessary.
3. Check the temperature setting on your water heater.
Another simple thing that you can do to extend the life of your water heater is keep the temperature setting as low as possible. The hotter the water is inside the storage tank, the more sediment damage will take place. You also run the risk of sustaining scalding injuries when the temperature setting on your water heater is too high.