Keeping Your AC System Cleaner

4 Easy Ways To Make A Home's Water Heater Last Longer

by Yolanda White

Most people enjoy taking a hot shower or being able to run their washing machine or dishwasher, but few spend much time thinking about the hot water heater that supplies the hot water for a home. Replacing a hot water heater can be quite expensive, so most homeowners want to keep their current water heater operating properly for as long as they can. Use the following tips to get the most life out of your home's water heater:

Clean the Tank

Many people do not realize that sediments and minerals in water can build up inside a hot water tank over time. This sediment can damage the metal of the tank, which can lead to a hot water heater not lasting as long as possible. A simple solution is to regularly flush and clean your water heater tank to remove the build up of sediment. This task is easy for most people to do themselves if they have a garden hose that can be hooked up to the hot water heater to drain the water. But if you do not feel comfortable flushing and cleaning your hot water heater yourself, contact a plumber.

Check the Anode Rod

An anode rod is a metal rod that is typically made from aluminum or magnesium. This rod is designed to corrode, which protects the rest of the metal in a hot water heater from corroding. Since an anode rod is supposed to corrode, it will not last the lifetime of your hot water heater. If you want to keep your hot water heater running, it is important to check the condition of the anode rod. Once the rod is completely corroded, it is important to promptly replace the old anode rod with a new one.

Consider Installing a Water Softener

If you live in an area with hard water that has a higher than normal mineral content, installing a water softener may help extend the life of your hot water heater, as well as other appliances in your home that use water. Hard water causes mineral deposits to form inside the tank of a water heater, which can eventually cause it to stop working properly. A water softener can remove a lot of the minerals in hard water so no deposits form.

Don't Ignore Small Problems

In many cases, small issues with a hot water heater can be repaired if they are caught early. Strange sounds, such as popping or cracking, a lack of hot water or cooler water than normal, and water that smells odd or is miscolored are all things that should be taken care of promptly. Failure to arrange for repairs will just make problems worse until the water heater fails completely.