You rely on your water heater to have hot water ready for you when you need it. But if you’re not using your water heater properly, you could be shortening its lifespan and costing yourself money in the long run. To save money on a water heater repair or replacement down the road, avoid these water heater mistakes:
Not insulating your water heater tank
This is a mistake whether you have an electric or gas water heater. Protecting your water heater tank will improve its efficiency by keeping heat loss to a minimum. You can purchase an insulation blanket for your water heater in most hardware stores.
Ignoring the sacrificial anode rod
The sacrificial anode rod is designed to corrode over time so that your water heater’s steel tank doesn’t rust and corrode. If you don’t check on the status of the sacrificial anode rod regularly, it will eventually stop working, and your water heater will start to rust from the inside out. To check on the sacrificial anode rod, unscrew it from the water heater to see if it’s more than half consumed. If it is, you’ll need to replace it.
Not flushing the water heater
Over time, sediment can build up in your water heater, which can cause many problems. Sediment can insulate the heating elements in an electric water heater, which reduces its efficiency. In a gas water heater, sediment can clog the burner assembly and cause the pilot light to go out. To flush your water heater, attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and open it up. Let all the water run out until it’s clear, then close the valve.
Failing to maintain proper water pressure
If your water pressure is too low, it can cause your water heater to work harder than it needs to. This not only reduces its efficiency but can also shorten its lifespan. Conversely, if your water pressure is too high, it can stress the water heater’s components and cause a leak. You can purchase an inexpensive water pressure gauge at a hardware store to check your water pressure.
Not knowing when to replace the water heater
Even with proper maintenance, water heaters don’t last forever. If your water heater is more than 15 years old, it’s probably time for a replacement.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can extend the life of your water heater and save yourself money in the long run. If you do find yourself in need of water heater repair or replacement, be sure to call a reputable professional. A water heater is a complex appliance, and attempting a DIY repair could cost you more in the long run. Call the pros now!