Regular Water Heater Maintenance Can Extend Appliance Life up to 30 Years

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Most people find hot water heater problems at the worst possible time – when there’s no hot water

It’s like a car. Regular oil changes and scheduled tune-ups keeps car running for years longer than average, and annual maintenance of a home water heater will do the same

Most homeowners discover a problem with their hot water heater at the worst possible time – when there’s no hot water. Denver Master Plumber Keith Sears of Ben Franklin Plumbing Denver, says regular hot water heater maintenance can not only avoid the expense and shock of a cold shower, but can triple the life of the appliance so essential to the comfort of the American family.

Considering that most water heaters last an average of 7 to 12 years, the ability to extend that run to 30 years or more is a big money saver, says Sears. He adds that regular hot water heater maintenance also keeps the appliance running at peak performance and efficiency, saving even more money in energy costs, and such maintenance also can prevent common home safety issues as well.

Home water heaters fail for a number of reasons – the major one being age, says Sears. He recommends annual draining and flushing out the water heater, plus changing the anode rod, a relatively inexpensive maintenance procedure that can keep a water heater running optimally many years beyond the manufacturer’s stated lifetime.

The most important maintenance issue is the anode rod inside the tank. It is designed to protect against corrosion inside the water heater tank by attracting the corrosion to itself rather than allowing the corrosion to adhere to the glass-lined steel tank. Sometimes called a sacrificial anode, because it dissolves slowly, the anode rod sacrifices itself to protect the metal tank, but its effectiveness depletes over time. As the anode rod becomes less effective, the water heater starts to produce rust-color water — one symptom that a water heater is in trouble – and the corrosion starts to build up and diminish both the delivery of hot water and the energy efficiency of the appliance.

Other symptoms that sediment is building up inside a water heater include:

  •     Heating element burns out
  •     Energy use can increase
  •     Unit overheats
  •     Aggravating noise begins
  •     Annoying vibration begins
  •     Bacteria begins to grow
  •     Unit emits an unpleasant odor.

“It’s like a car. Regular oil changes and scheduled tune-ups keeps car running for years longer than average, and annual maintenance of a home water heater will do the same,” says Sears.

In addition to the potential loss of hot water and the need to cover the expense of a new appliance and installation, annual maintenance of a home hot water heater is also a home safety issue, says Sears. He notes that the home water heater is one of the most dangerous appliances in your home, with such potential damages as:

  •     Leaking water that can cause thousands of dollars in property damage to floors, walls, ceilings and foundations, and can create nagging mold problems.
  •     Leaking gas which could be catastrophic.
  •     Leaking carbon monoxide, which doesn’t smell and can’t be seen – by far the most dangerous aspect of an improperly installed or poorly operating water heat.

“A hot water heater is a sophisticated device involving a home’s water system and heating source, and it should be installed, repaired and maintained by a professional to insure it operates effectively, efficiently and, most importantly, safely,” adds Sears.

A hot water heater is an essential mainstay of any busy household, being the foundation of showers and baths, the laundry and dishwashing, and with proper regular maintenance the appliance can deliver years of worry-free operation.

http://www.benfranklinplumbingdenver.com

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