According to Fox News, the typical water heater should last you about 8 to 12 years. This is an important thing to note as a water heater can be very important to the overall functionality of a home. If you feel like your water has been colder than normal or can't seem to stay hot for even a short amount of time, then you probably are starting to experience some issues with it.
Thankfully, however, there are a few things that you can do to resolve those issues. Not only can these steps help you get back to taking steaming hot showers, but they may even help prolong the lifespan of your water heater.
Don't Forget to Flush
If you've never flushed your water heater before, then it's probably time to do so. Luckily, it's not the hardest thing to do in the world. First, you need to find and turn off the circuit that powers your water heater. WikiHow says that if you're using a gas heater, you can just change the settings to "Pilot."
Then turn off the cold water supply and go to your nearest sink or tub. There, turn the hot water faucet on. This is an important step as it will keep water from getting stuck in your pipes, putting the quality of your water at risk as well as potentially causing your pipes to burst. Finally, drain the water heater and fill it back up again.
Drain Your Water Heater
When you drain your water heater, you're cleaning it out and helping to make sure that it lasts longer. In fact, it is a very crucial step. Here is why:
Have you ever heard a rumbling sound in your house whose source you couldn’t place? Chances are, that sound was actually coming from your water heater. According to the Family Handy Man, that may be caused due to steam bubbles trying to get through sediment buildup in your heater.
This sediment has the potential of damaging your tank — which means that it could cause it to last a mere four or six years. To prevent that fate, drain it! You can do that by attaching a garden hose to the drain valve and letting all of the gunk drip out. Just make sure to catch the gunk before it hits the floor drain or else that'll lead to more problems for you to deal with.
Clean Out the Gunk
Speaking of gunk, Green Living Ideas says that one good way to clear your water heater of all of that unwanted stuff is to put vinegar in your tank and flush it. Of course, you can't just pour the vinegar right in. You have to remove the anode's rod first. This should be located at the top of your water heater on the lid. With the help of a funnel, you can then pour the vinegar in.
You shouldn't let the vinegar sit there forever, though. After six hours, you should drain the tank again and then refill it back up. In the process, the vinegar helps to break apart the gunk and allows for it to come out of the tank a lot easier. With the vinegar method, you'll be essentially flushing out your water heater twice.
Test It Annually
Once a year, you should test the pressure-relief valve to make sure that air is able to come out of it. If no air does come out of it, then that means there is something wrong with it. In that case, contacting a professional is necessary. After all, it isn't safe to have a malfunctioning water heater in your home.In an ideal world, water heaters would last forever. Although that is unrealistic, you can still make sure that it lasts as long as it possibly can with the help of the above tips. If you need any maintenance, don't hesitate to contact First Class Water Heaters Inc. for assistance.