Written on: March 15, 2021
The average conventional (storage-type) water heater lasts about 10 or 12 years, depending on the quality of its construction and other factors, such as the chemistry of your water supply.
But perhaps the most important factor in determining the lifespan of your water heater is how well it has been maintained.
Routine water heater maintenance could add years to the life of your water heater by purging the storage tank of sediment. This sediment – which is actually accumulated minerals from your main water supply – could eventually cause your water heater to stop working altogether.
At a minimum, you should flush your tank at least once – and preferably twice – a year (flushing entails emptying your storage tank using a hose, then refilling it with clean water; it’s a relatively easy process that you can do yourself, or we can do it for you).
A second routine water heater maintenance task is to check in on your anode rod. Sometimes called a “sacrificial rod,” an anode rod is a steel core wire surrounded with either aluminum, magnesium or zinc draw that draws corrosive elements within the water in your tank to itself, keeping them away from steel tank walls. A typical anode rod will last about five years – about half that long if you use a water softener. If your anode rod is spent, your tank will quickly corrode, which could eventually lead to a costly tank failure and flood.
If you’re not able to flush your tank yourself, it’s a good idea have water heater maintenance performed by a professional every year. If you do your own tank flushing, every other year is enough to cover routine tasks like inspection and a deep cleaning of the water heater’s coils, rods, and other pieces.
Of course, there are times when your water heater needs more than routine maintenance; when those times come, always call a water heater professional. Here are four warning signs that your equipment needs expert attention.
Remember, when in doubt, always contact a water heater pro!
For professional water heater installations and water heater maintenance in the Hudson Valley, call the pros at Downey Energy!