Your water heater is integral to your everyday life. It provides endless hot water for taking showers, doing laundry, and keeping your dishes clean. But over time, a water heater may start to lose its efficiency and strength. To ensure that your water heater can perform at full capacity, it’s important to follow these steps:
Give it space
Crowding a water heater is not only unpleasant but also can be detrimental to its lifespan. Avoid placing the water heater close to the furnace, hairdryers, space heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, and other high-wattage appliances. This can cause the temperature of the water being heated to fluctuate rapidly between hot and cold, raising the risk of scalding and bursting of pipes, as well as shortening the lifespan of your water heater. The best results are achieved if you give a minimum clearance of six inches (150mm) in all directions around your hot water tank.
Flush the tank
Did you know you can extend the lifespan of your water heater by flushing out sediment and other contaminants that get trapped in the tank? Every six months or so, the pipes inside your water heater can trap small deposits of minerals, bits of sediment, and even tiny pieces of rust. Sediment buildup can cause decreased water heater efficiency and a higher risk of failure.
Insulate the tank and pipes
Insulating your water heater and hot water pipes is a quick, easy, and low-cost way to save energy and extend its lifespan without dramatically changing the way you use hot water. Insulation helps prevent it from cooling off when the heater is not running. Insulating a cold water heater can reduce the time it takes for hot water to be available, from 2 minutes to 30 seconds or less!
The easiest and safest way to insulate the water heater is to wrap it with an insulating blanket. It will be a good idea to use an insulation blanket that has a foil surface on one side. The water tank will be shielded from rust and corrosion if this is done.
Perform routine maintenance
Regular water heater maintenance also helps ensure the safety of your family and your home. Skipping the proper preventative maintenance can put you at risk of freezing pipes, leaks, pests, and expensive repairs.
Properly maintained water heaters are less likely to burst, which can cause serious injuries or property damage. Plus, a clean water heater will use less energy to heat the water because there is less buildup of sediment.
Why you should leave your water heater installation to the pros
Knowing when to call a plumbing professional can save you serious money, stress, and headaches down the road. While there are certainly DIY jobs for experienced homeowners, this is one area where it’s best to leave things to the pros. If you find that you need a new water heater or some parts replacements, remember to never attempt these things yourself before calling a plumber. Consult a licensed water heater contractor today!