How to Extend the Life of Your Tank Style Water Heater
Whether your water heater is electric or gas, proper maintenance and care can make a huge impact on how long it will last. An electric heater has an average lifespan of 6-8 years in the Phoenix area, and a gas water heater isn’t much better averaging 8-10 years– we want to help you change that! Water heaters aren’t cheap, so adding years to their life means adding money to your wallet.
Annual Maintenance and Flushing
For your water heater to live its best life and operate at peak efficiency, it needs to be maintained and flushed every year; this involves: inspecting your temperature and pressure relief valve for proper functionality, checking your anode rod, and lastly flushing your water heater. We recommend that this service is provided on a minimum of an annual basis, which you can quickly, and conveniently, schedule with our office or check out our video and blog here for how to perform this service on your water heater.
Anode Rod Upgrade
You may never have heard of an anode rod before– if I wasn’t in the plumbing profession, I wouldn’t have a clue what it is– but, it is the unnoticed hero of your water heater’s lifespan. It is a key component that indicates how long your water heater will last. In fact, when we install brand new water heaters with an anode rod upgrade, the tank warranty is extended by 4 years from the manufacturer– 4 years! That’s crazy talk when you consider that an anode rod is just one small piece of the inside of your water heater.
Anode Rod Replacement
Now that you understand what an anode rod is and how it impacts the lifespan of your water heater, consider getting it inspected during your annual maintenance and flushing. If your water heater has gotten up there in years, then the anode rod may no longer be accessible because it has seized to the tank and can’t be inspected or replaced. This is why starting with proper annual maintenance on your newly installed water heater is very important– it can quite literally double the lifespan of your tank!
Hard water is, believe it or not… hard on your water heater. Actually, it’s not just your heater that can take some damage; water like this is tough on all your plumbing fixtures like shower valves, faucets, dishwashers to name a few. Hard water can even have negative effects on your body and hair. While adding a soft water system might seem like a terrific idea, not all softeners work the same, and some can ultimately reduce the lifespan of your water heater.
Salt softeners are very popular and usually what most people think of when pondering the topic. But, many people don’t realize that salt water softeners can diminish the lifespan of your tank style water heater. Salt softeners essentially work by replacing the minerals in your water that make it “hard”, like magnesium and calcium, with sodium; this process speeds up the deterioration of the anode rod. Salt water is more corrosive and conductive than fresh water– ask anyone who lives near an ocean or drives on salted streets in the wintertime. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a salt softener if that’s what you really love and works for your family; it does mean, though, that you will want to replace your anode rod more frequently to keep your water heater from being destroyed from the inside out.
There are a lot of options on the market for softening water that do not involve salt. Citrus cartridge-based softeners are gaining popularity because they provide a healthier water alternative, are rather affordable, and require less maintenance. Another upside to citrus softeners is that they don’t add sodium to the water– less sodium means less corrosion– and citrus softeners, like the Nuvo H20, can help extend the lifespan of your water heater by preventing scale buildup. With time, these water heaters can even reverse mineral buildup in plumbing pipes and fixtures. The Nuvo H20 even has an option to filter your water, not just soften it, making sure you have clean filtered water for your entire home. If you’d like to learn more about the Nuvo system to see if it could be the right fit for your family, then check out our free consultations to answer all of your questions!
If softening and filtering your water isn’t something that is a concern for you, then you can consider adding an anti-scale system to the cold water line going into your water heater; doing this will help with the scale buildup at just your water heater. These systems are affordable and are point-of-use only– meaning they will work for just the water heater rather than the entire home. Anti-scale units are usually cartridge-based systems that are easy to maintain on your own, but they do require annual replacement of cartridges.
Services in Phoenix & Beyond
When you’ve found yourself in need of plumbing services in the Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, or Chandler area, you can trust Robins Plumbing to provide you with prompt and expert care, contact our team today! In addition to our toilet services, we also offer a variety of residential and commercial plumbing services, including: drain cleaning, water heater repair and replacement, sewer camera inspection and locating, backflow prevention, commercial and residential jetting, water treatments, and more. Visit our reviews online to see what others have to say about our local plumbing company!