Extending Your Hot Water Heater’s Life
The average life expectancy of a tank-style hot water heater is usually between 8 and 12 years. Good news is that you can extend it’s life up to 15 years if they’re well maintained.
Not sure how to maintain your hot water heater? Good news is we do! At Accurate Electric Plumbing, Heating & Air we can help you with:
- Tankless/Tank Heater Service
- Water Heater Maintenance
- Water Heater Repairs
- Water Heater Replacement
Focusing on tank heaters, hard water, the temperature setting, the tank location and maintenance are the four factors that impact the lifespan of your hot water heater.
Hard water can leave spots on your glassware & sink which might be unpleasant to the eye. And, it can cause real damage to your appliances, plumbing and water heater due to the higher concentration of minerals which then build up and cause corrosion and rust. The corrosion and rust inside your hot water heater will lead to cracks, leaks and other irreversible damage.
To find out if you have hard water in your home there are some tests you can run and some options to soften the water.
The tank-style hot water heater has two jobs. One is to heat the water inside it, and the second is to maintain that hot temperature. The temperature you’ve set your system at can make all the difference on the energy required to heat the water in the first place. Most systems are set at the manufacturers default at 140 degrees fahrenheit which is often too hot for most people. Instead of using up extra energy and adding stress to your system for a water temperature that’s too hot to handle, you can lower your temperature a few degrees. This will also help extend the lifetime of your hot water tank.
Depending on where your tank is located, the tank might be losing heat and therefore require more energy to keep the water temperature hot. That extra energy brings added stress on the equipment. Especially if your tank is located in a cold basement or crawl space with poor insulation.
If moving your tank is not an option, you can add insulation, use a water heater insulation jacket, replace old windows and more. Making one of these changes can extend the life expectancy of your unit and save you on your electricity bills.
As with most large appliances, regular maintenance protects & gives you the best chance to have a heater that lasts closer to 15 years. Annual maintenance should be done to drain the water heater to clear it of the build up of rust particles which will prevent damage to the inside of your tank. Every three years, the anode rod that’s inside the tank, and helps protect the lining of the tank, should be replaced. Both of these should be done by a plumber.
Call our team at Accurate Plumbing, Heating & Air to ensure that you’ve implemented the changes that will help extend the life of your tank-style water heater as well as for regular maintenance.
One last thing, if you don’t know how old your unit is, it’s often on the unit itself! You can usually find a serial number on the tank with the date it was built included in that number. The letter which starts the serial number represents the month and the first numbers after are the year. When in doubt, use Google with the name of the manufacturer and the serial number to find the actual age of your hot water heater.
Lowering your water temperature, insulating your unit (either with a water heater jacket or insulating the area it’s in), draining it annually, replacing the anode rod every three years, and softening your water are the ways to not only extend the life of your unit but also reduce the energy it uses. As your local plumber that you can trust, we at Accurate Plumbing, Heating & Air can perform your maintenance and give you advice when we notice signs of aging, failure or breakdown.