If you have ever come home from a long day’s work only to find a curious water source flowing from your garage, or even worse, inside your home, then you’ve been through this before. Traditional water heaters typically last up to 7 years, but you can extend that life if you follow some simple steps in maintaining your water heater. It’s summer-time here in the Northwest, and now is the perfect time to perform some annual maintenance on your water heater. Here’s what you can do:
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to extend the life of your water heater is to drain AND flush the tank. You can do this, even if the water heater is inside your home or condo. Here are the steps:
Water Supply – Turn off water supply to the water heater.
Garden Hose – Connect a garden hose to the tanks external faucet and make sure the other end is at a drain or outside run-off area.
Release Water – Turn on the water heater’s faucet to release the water inside the tank.
Turn On Water Supply – once the tank is completely empty, then you are ready to flush the tank, so turn on the water supply to the tank. This will help rinse out the remaining sediment in the bottom of the tank. It typically takes about 2 minutes of running water to clear the tank out.
Turn OFF external faucet – Once the water is clear of sediment, turn off the faucet from the water heater and remove the hose. Be careful when removing the hose, so you don’t spill residual water inside the hose.
Install a Water Softener
The main enemy of any water heater is sediment and corrosion, both of which occur more frequently with hard water. Especially in areas where water is naturally full of minerals like calcium and magnesium sulphates. Typically you can tell if your water is hard when it leaves a colored line around your toilet bowls or faucets. Water Softening units can help alleviate these conditions and also extend the life of your pluming fixtures, like a water heater.
High Water Pressure
If your home has high water pressure, then you might want to consider installing a Pressure Regulation Valve (PRV). High pressure water can create more wear on your water heater than normal. This is because water expands when it is heated, so any extra pressure on the tank may create tiny fractures prematurely as the tank ages. Obviously, any fracture in a water tank is bad news, so it’s important to keep the water pressure within the manufacture’s tolerance.
Maple Valley Plumbing specializes in water heater maintenance and replacement, so if you are in doubt about anything or just have questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call (425) 432-7599.