Homeowners often want to get as many years as they can out of major appliances before replacement is necessary. Unfortunately, maintenance often is ignored until a major problem occurs. You'll want to do these two things if you're looking to get some extra years out of a hot water heater.
Flush the Sediment
The water that enters your home through your city's municipal water source can have sediment in it, even though the water is supposed to be treated before it reaches you. Without a water filter that processes all the water that enters your home, it will eventually get into your hot water heater. Homeowners often hear the sediment rather than see it in their water, because it can make loud sounds as it moved around the metal tank when the water is being heated.
Sediment doesn't just cause annoying sounds, since it also reduces the lifespan of your home's hot water heater. Sediment in the tank causes the heating element to work much harder than necessary to do its job. For comparison, think of how long it takes to boil a pot of water when nothing is in it, and how much longer it will take if you already have food in the water.
Repairing this problem is fairly simple. You'll need to drain the hot water from the tank, which will cause the sediment to flow out with the water. Before you flush out the tank, make sure you've turned off the tank's heating element to avoid causing damage to it.
Replace the Anode Rod
Inside your tank is an anode rod made with metal like magnesium and aluminum. This rod's purpose is to stop any corrosion from happening to the tank, because as long as the rod is intact, the rod will deteriorate rather than the exterior of the tank. Many homeowners don't even know that there is an anode rod inside their hot water tank, or that the anode rod can be replaced.
A sign that your anode rode needs replacement is if you see any signs of rust on the exterior of the tank. If you do nothing to fix this problem, a hole will form in the tank and require the entire appliance to be replaced. Replacing the rod can give you some additional years before replacement is necessary.
For help removing sediment or replacing an anode rod, reach out to a local plumber that can assist you. A simple service call can buy you additional years of a working hot water heater. Rapid Plumbing Inc can help with your water heater repair needs.