How To Make A Water Heater Last Longer
Most of us don't think much about our water heaters, especially with most of the water heaters in our area being in the attic. We expect hot water when we turn on the faucet, and that's usually what we get.
But sometimes we get water from the ceiling because of a leaky water heater. These are some maintenance items that can be done to make your water heater last longer:
- Get a water softener, or an alternative to keep the hard water from damaging the heater.
- Flush the heater annually, to reduce mineral deposits.
- Make sure the safety relief valve is operative, we recommend replacing it every two years. Do this is for your safety.
- Check the condition of the anode rod, and replace if over 50% depleted.
What's An Anode Rod?
A sacrificial anode rod is about 3/4" in diameter, usually made of magnesium or aluminum formed around a steel wire core. It's pupose is to protect a less than perfect glass lined steel water heater tank from corrosion. Since the anode is more reactive to the water chemistry it will corrode away faster than the steel tank. Once it is depleted, there is no longer any corrosion protection for the tank.
Here's a picture of a new and an old depleted anode.