Water heaters are the forgotten heart to your home much like your ac unit. When everything works you don’t have to ever think about it. However once the water is cold on a busy Monday morning you suddenly remember that long-forgotten appliance, neglected by years of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. While this thought process is normal, servicing your unit throughout its life can extend it from 15 years to upwards of 20 years. Water heaters need to be taken care of just like your car. The car needs an oil change while the water heater needs a flush.
Something as simple as draining your water heater once a year can greatly amplify the heater’s potential for life. After years of water flowing through the unit, it will begin to build up sediment. Sediment/debris from water settles on the bottom of the heater from years of use, thus making it more difficult for your heater to heat your water, consuming more energy for less return. Imagine if you were trying to boil water with a plate between the pot and the burner, it would take much longer and require a higher amount of energy to begin boiling. Especially in Monroe, NC where hard water is a huge issue, most of the units we remove from Monroe are caked in this sediment. Servicing it is huge and maybe a hassle but will certainly end up saving you more money and add years to the life of your water heater.
We usually recommend fixing a water heater that is between 5-8 years old. While being older could potentially be throwing away your money. A neglected water heater can give lots of issues and make it not worth the cost of repair. Although, if regularly flushed repairs are recommended on most common issues. Flushing your water heater not only increases its lifespan but also makes it a more efficient unit. It won’t work as hard to get hot water and will have fewer issues overall. Common water heater issues typically come from the unit not having regular maintenance.
The burner assembly will need to be cleaned after 2 years. The heater itself should be flushed every year. Small things like these help prevent bigger issues down the road and are easy cheap maintenance options as well. The average homeowner can flush their own heater with ease. The average lifespan of a standard unit is between 10 and 15 years. A tankless unit, on the other hand, will last 20 years or even longer. While a more difficult install, it gives peace of mind on many issues water heaters currently have.
We always recommend changing conventional tank water heaters for a tankless unit simply because it lasts longer, more energy-efficient, WIFI compatible for your techies and a constant hot water supply that NEVER ENDS! This means whether you’re single or have 20 kids you’ll never have to worry about the tank being empty again. Water passes through the heater and is instantly heated so you never have to wait for hot water again. Learn more about Tankless Water Heaters.
Maintenance for a longer lifespan
There are a few things you can do to allow for the standard water heater to reach upwards of 15 – 20 years, these methods include:
- Flushing your water heater prevents the build-up of sediment allowing for better fuel efficiency. It will also help to prevent tank leaks down the road. Sediment generally builds up on the bottom of the unit. Over time it can eat away at the interior of your tank creating small holes leaking into your home. Very extreme cases have water heater bottoms completely ate through and flooding homes. Water heater leaks affecting the integrity of your home are not cheap fixes and can cost a lot of money in-home repair.
- Add a PRV or Pressure Reducing Valve, this will lower the water pressure to a maximum of 80 PSI. This reduces pressure on every fixture located in the home. When fixtures hold water that is over 80 PSI, it creates the smalls drips you see in your faucets and showers. Doing this also increases the lifespan of these fixtures simply because they are not holding back high water pressure at all times. Water pressure is one of the leading causes of leaks in most homes.
- An expansion tank is also a great addition and requirement for any system. It is required by N.C. Plumbing Code for this to be installed on all new tank heaters. This small pressurized tank reduces thermal expansion and water hammer. Thermal expansion occurs when your water is heated causing the water molecules to separate from one another creating expansion. The increased load on the system is absorbed by the expansion tank reducing pressure on your entire system. Once thermal expansion has decreased the tank will push the water back into the system.
- Add a water filtration system, you may think your water is perfectly fine for drinking but have you noticed white spots on dishes? Or perhaps black lining around your toilet? Well, these are common signs of “hard water”. Adding a filter will get rid of this “hard water” lessening the amount of sediment build up in your tank and will extend all of your fixtures lifespans. Hard water can affect your heater’s tank in a similar way to the sediment. Eating up the inside of the tank and causing leaks, causing an emergency and needing a plumber. Learn more about Filters.
- Servicing your unit yourself is the best option for cost-effectiveness. The process is very simple but effective at keeping your heater going. Servicing involves draining your heater completely down. Thus removing sediment from the bottom of the heater. The second step is primarily for gas water heaters. Cleaning the burner assembly involves removing the cover plate located at the bottom, and cleaning the burner, as well as the surrounding area. We also have a plan you could sign up for. Our own Superior Service Agreement. This will have us out twice a year to perform this service on your unit while also inspecting every other fixture in your house. Learn more about our Service Agreements.
You don’t want to have to call an emergency plumber so give us a call for your Charlotte Water Heater Repair needs at (704) 289-6858 if you live in the Monroe/Charlotte area or (704) 813-2888 if you live in the Gaston area. You can also book online!