Posted on: 12 January 2017Share
According to Lowes, the average water heater will last anywhere between eight to 12 years. If you care for your water heater properly, including having it inspected by a plumber at least once-a-year, you can ensure that you won't have to wake up in the morning and have to suffer through a cold shower. However, while this is helpful, there are other inexpensive ways to keep your water heater working smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you extend the life of your water heater.
Keep an Eye on the Temperature Pressure Relief Valve
Your water heater is fitted with a temperature pressure relief, or TPR, valve. This valve's purpose is to open when it senses the temperature or pressure of the unit is too high. When the TPR valve becomes stuck, which can happen when it gets clogged with sediment, it won't open, which can cause serious damage to your water heater.
The best way to ensure the TPR valve isn't clogged with sediment is to examine it a few times a year. To perform this simple task, begin by shutting off the power to the water heater. Next, manually open the valve. If you're not sure where the valve is located, consult your owner's manual. While you open the valve, watch to see if any water flows out of the drain pipe. If the drain pipe is dry, your TPR valve isn't functioning properly.
In the event your TPR valve is clogged or fails, consult a professional for assistance. A plumber may either clean the TPR valve, or replace it, if it's damaged or older.
The Importance of Flushing Your Water Heater
In addition to keeping an eye on your TPR valve, it's important to flush your water heater at least once-a-year – especially if you have hard water. Hard water contains several sediment and minerals that can clog the system. Luckily, it's easy to flush your water heater, and all that you will need is a garden hose. Begin by shutting off the gas or power and the cold water supply to the water heater. Next, attach your garden hose to the unit's drain valve, which is on the bottom of the water heater.
Put the other end of the hose into a bathtub or direct to toward a floor drain. Finally, turn on the hot water in a sink or tub and let the water drain out of the heater and into the hose. Once the water start running clear, it is completely clean.
With a little extra effort, it is possible to extend the life of your water heater. If you don't feel comfortable checking the TPR valve or draining the water heater, don't hesitate to contact a professional for help.