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Extend Water Heater Life with Simple Maintenace 

It would be nice to extend water heater life to save money and the hassle of replacement.  Water heaters can sometimes last up to 15 years, sometimes even as much as 20 years in rare situations.  A standard water heater will last you somewhere between eight and twelve years. The majority of water heater tanks today are steel, lined with a type of glass or porcelain. Over time, most water heater tanks will oxidize and deteriorate producing a small leak in the tank – in some cases a disastrous leak. For this reason, it is important to know where the water shutoff valve is located.

Keep in mind that most water heaters decrease in efficiency as a result of sediment build-up, even if it is still working.

Tankless water heaters can last 2 to 3 times longer than the traditional tanks, provided you care for the unit properly.

Extend Water Heater life

Ways to Help Extend Water Heater Life

A few things that can extend your water heater’s life:

  • Install an Expansion Tank: When water is heated from 50º to 120º, it expands. If your system is closed (a valve which prevents your water from back flowing into the water main), this water has nowhere to go. Because water is not a particularly compressible material, it will cause rapid increases and decreases in water pressure. This expanding and contracting causes stress on both your water heater and your plumbing system which can cause damage and even premature failure. Installing an expansion tank can potentially double the life of your water heater
  • Clean or flush out the tank: For older tanks, flushing out the tank annually can help prevent sediment buildup and helps maintain an efficient tank for longer. Newer model water heaters are self-cleaning.

Be sure to ask us about our Tank Flush Discount Special

  • Install a Pressure Regulating Valve (PRV): High water pressure (above 90 PSI) can damage your appliance and can also cause your water heater to prematurely fail. The PRV will reduce the system pressure. It is recommended to install an Expansion Tank if you have a PRV
  • Install a water softener: Water with high concentrations of minerals (commonly known as “hard water”) causes scaling – a precipitation of minerals deposited onto surfaces of an appliance. Scaling reduces the efficiency of the appliance and can increase the use of electricity.

When To Call a Plumbing Professional

If you have any of the following problems with your water heater, it probably means that your appliance is simply worn out and it is time for a replacement:

  • Cracks, leaks or rust on the tank
  • Rust in the water
  • Smelly water (smells like sulfur or rotten eggs)
  • Unusual noises coming from the water heater or adjacent pipes

We strongly caution against trying to install a new water heater yourself. This will often void your warranty and could be just plain dangerous!

Call Carter’s My Plumber in Greenwood, Indiana

Questions regarding adding life to your water heater? Give us a call at (317) 859-9999. We’ll gladly point you in the right direction.

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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