6 Maintenance Tips to Extend the Lifetime of Your Water Heater: The Importance of Regular Service

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Are you tired of maintaining your water heater every few months? Do you wish there were ways to make it last longer? Well, you’re in luck! In this blog post, I’ll be sharing the top tips that can help extend the lifetime of your water heater so you don’t have to think about it again!

Drain the Tank

Drain the tank on your water heater routinely – at least twice a year. This step is essential in the maintenance of your water heater, as unlike tanks from years past, modern storage tanks do not naturally shed material around the hot tank walls. Over time, dirt and minerals can accumulate resulting in scale buildup and an inefficient system — reducing your hot water supply and increasing energy bills.

Remove Sediment

The accumulation of sediment can cause your heater to operate inefficiently, and it can damage the internal components of the tank. Removing this sediment regularly is an important part of maintaining the optimal performance of your water heater, and these steps will help:

Turn off the power supply to ensure that your electric hot water heater stays safe while you’re cleaning.

Drain approximately 10-12 gallons from the bottom of your tank, either by attaching a garden hose to the valve or draining directly into buckets, depending on how accessible the valve is.

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Connect a shop vacuum to a suction hose and turn it on before inserting it into an opening in the lid at the top of your tank. This will suck out any debris that has gathered in there while simultaneously creating positive pressure inside.

Grab a brush attached with a long handle so you can reach down deep into corners without having to touch any part of sediment buildups. Scrub away any stubborn pieces with various tools depending on how thick or tough they are.

Allow all pieces to dry before reassembling them back onto the tank for storage and use later if necessary.

Flush out remaining sediment from inside the tank until it runs clear, then turn back on the power supply to get hot showers running again!

Check the Thermostat

To make sure your water heater maintenance goes according to plan, you should inspect the thermostat. Most water heaters have separate thermostats for each side of the tank, and each thermostat should have a setting between 90°F-140°F, depending on your local code requirements. If you’re unsure what temperature setting you should use, consult a qualified technician. It is important to set temperatures within this range in order to prevent scalding accidents or mineral buildup in the pipes.

It is important to regularly check both sides of the tank; a defective thermostat could potentially lead to energy waste or other problems with your water heater’s performance. If you find that one of your thermostats isn’t working properly, it may be time for a replacement part or to call in a professional for service.

Inspect for Leaks

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Look for any signs of rust or water pooling around the base of the unit. Additionally, inspect all hoses connected to the tank and make sure that any fittings are secured tightly. If your tank has an overflow pipe make sure it is clear of obstructions and draining properly; this will help avoid unnecessary pressure on the system which can lead to failure or burst pipes.

In addition to inspecting for physical signs of damage, check your home’s water bill each month. If it suddenly increases, you may have a leaking tank that needs attention right away. You should also periodically check the temperature settings on your thermostat as this can prevent excessive heat buildup in the unit which can result in premature breakdown or dangerous conditions such as scalding. As this appliance holds large amounts of hot water, it is important to observe safety guidelines and use caution when examining any parts within its area.

Examine the Insulation

The higher the R-value rating, the higher quality, and more effective the insulation. If your water heater is not properly insulated, it will require more energy to heat your water, thus increasing utility bills and wearing out the unit faster.

If you have an older water heater that needs insulation, you can purchase pre-cut blankets or rolls of insulation at any home improvement store. Make sure that you remove all dust and debris from around the tank before installing new insulation blankets to ensure they seamlessly adhere – this will prevent drafts which will reduce the efficiency of the product.

Some tanks do not need a blanket and can instead be insulated with foam wraps; these are specially designed and precut pieces of foam insulation that wrap tightly around an electric or gas tank. Wrap these pieces all around your heater’s tank (with overlapping) until securely fastened in place.

Check the Pressure Relief Valve

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This safety device is designed to release excessive pressure that builds up within the tank, preventing dangerous levels of pressure from forming. Some water heaters are also fitted with an expansion tank which is connected to the pressure and temperature relief valve — this absorbs any excess cold water or cooling gas during the water supply cycle.

To check the condition of your pressure relief valve, start by turning it counterclockwise until it turns freely. Pull up on the outlet pipe slightly (just enough to test its integrity) before firmly pushing it back into place. Allow a small amount (one quart or so) of water to escape from the outlet pipe while taking note of any sudden/unusual pressure changes or unusual color in the discharged water.

Next, allow a few moments for all residual air inside the tank to be released before closing and gently tightening (clockwise) the release valve again — this should not require much torque force, just enough to seal off tightly against further discharge.

Keep an eye out for any signs of damage, rust particles, or leakage when performing this task as these could indicate that it’s time for a new valve assembly (which can be handled professionally by experienced technicians).

If you like this article, check out this blog post: How Reliable and Good Are Solar Hot Water Systems?


Proper water heater maintenance is essential for ensuring that your appliance will last for years to come. By taking the steps outlined in this guide, you can help extend the lifetime of your water heater and reduce the chances of it needing repairs or replacements, thus saving you time and money.

Regular professional maintenance visits are recommended to check the efficiency and performance of your unit. Additionally, remember to replace any anode rods that have deteriorated or worn out to maximize the life expectancy of your unit.

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Taking simple precautions such as these can help ensure that you get a dependable and efficient water-heating solution that will serve you well for years to come.

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