Prolonging Lifespan: Expert Strategies for Water Heater Maintenance 

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Plumbing, Water Heaters, Maintenance

Hot water is the unsung hero of our daily lives. 

It’s the soothing comfort of our morning showers, the tool we use to fight germs and remove dirt from our laundry, and the secret ingredient in our dishwashing routine. We don’t sing the praises of having hot water flowing in our homes enough! And yet, the equipment that delivers this essential resource often goes unnoticed until a malfunction disrupts our comfort and daily tasks. There’s no question about it: When our water heater tank or tankless water heater has an issue, and we lose hot water or our water heater temperature drops, it’s a major problem! 

For homeowners and business owners alike, the water heater stands as a quiet champion that, when properly maintained, can serve us well for more than a decade. Nevertheless, neglecting regular check-ups and care can dramatically shorten our water heater’s lifespan and lead to hefty replacement costs. In this comprehensive guide, to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency, your friendly local plumbers at Five Star Home Services will explore the best practices that can keep your water heater running efficiently for years to come and significantly extend its lifespan. 

Tankless Water Heater Advantages

Understanding Water Heater Lifespan: Factors Affecting Lifespan 

A standard water heater’s lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 15 years. However, this can vary based on several factors, the least of which is regular maintenance. The following are things to look for that affect water heater lifespan: 

  • Type of Water Heater: Tankless water heaters often have a longer lifespan, usually around 20 years, because of their design and reduced strain from not continuously heating water. 
  • Water Quality: Hard water with high mineral content can accumulate sediment, which accelerates corrosion and reduces efficiency. Sediment can build up over time in a water heater, shortening its lifespan. To prevent this, you should flush your water heater at least once yearly. 
  • Installation Quality: Proper installation ensures both safety and longevity. Incorrect installation can lead to leaks and premature wear of the heater’s components. 
  • Regular Maintenance: As with any sort of equipment or system in your home or business, regular maintenance is key. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 

Common Signs of Water Heater Issues 

Recognizing early warning signs can save you from the inconvenience of a sudden, catastrophic heater failure. The following are several things to keep an eye out for: 

  • Discolored Water: Brown or rusty water could indicate interior rusting of the unit. Rust is a major problem when it develops. 
  • Strange Noises: Knocking or popping sounds during operation may indicate sediment buildup. 
  • Leakage: Pooled water around your heater signals an immediate problem that requires attention. Also look for leaking hoses, pipes and lines. 

Maintenance Tips for Homeowners in Central and Southwest Ohio 

Homeowners in our service areas face unique challenges because of the hard water prevalent in these areas. Here are specific tips to maintain water heaters and tackle these challenges to optimize your water heater’s energy efficiency while reducing energy consumption and avoiding costly repairs. 

Regular Flushing and Cleaning 

Sediment buildup is a common issue with hard water. Schedule routine flushing every six months to a year to remove sediment and maintain efficiency. This also helps to prevent sediment buildup from hot water heaters. 

Checking for Leaks and Corrosion 

Inspect the pressure relief valve and connection points for any signs of leakage. Additionally, visually check the tank for signs of corrosion, particularly at the bottom, as this may indicate an aging tank in need of replacement. 

Adjusting Temperature Settings 

Setting your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit not only prevents scalding but can also reduce energy use and increase longevity. 

Insulating Hot Water Pipes 

By insulating your hot water pipes, you not only reduce heat loss and save on energy bills but also make your water heater work less, increasing its lifespan and making it more energy efficient. 

Maintenance Tips for Business Owners 

Businesses with high water usage, such as restaurants, hotels, and laundromats, can take additional operational precautions to maintain their water heater’s efficiency. 

Implement Preventive Maintenance Schedules 

Create a calendar of water heater regular maintenance activities such as flushing and inspections. Consistency is key in business environments where water heaters work overtime. Proper maintenance will improve energy efficiency. 

Monitor Water Heater Performance 

Track the time it takes to heat water and any abnormal patterns in water temperature or pressure. This can be a telltale sign of underlying issues and whether its functioning properly. 

Training Staff on Maintenance Procedures 

In establishments where staff interact with the water heater, provide thorough training on recognizing issues and the steps to take for regular maintenance. 

Benefits of Regular Maintenance 

The efforts you put into maintaining your water heater can provide substantial benefits, including the following list: 

Cost Savings on Repairs and Replacements 

Regular check-ups can catch issues early, minimizing repair costs, and extending the water heater’s life. Delaying maintenance often leads to unexpected and expensive failures. It also helps when you are addressing minor issues promptly. 

Improved Energy Efficiency 

A clean and well-maintained water heater operates more efficiently, resulting in lower energy bills. Just an inch of sediment buildup can decrease efficiency by 20%. 

Enhanced Safety 

Routine maintenance includes checks on safety features and safety hazards, such as the pressure relief valve, appropriate temperature, water flow, water pressure and other major problems that help prevent catastrophic failures and ensure safety. 

Is Your Water Heater’s Performance Lacking? Just Call Five Star Today! 

Maintaining your water heater might not be the most thrilling item on your to-do list. However, regular inspections are undoubtedly one of the most practical tips we can follow to extend the life of this valuable equipment. With simple yet effective strategies, you can ensure that your water heater stands the test of time, providing reliable, hot water for your daily needs while remaining in optimal condition to optimize your water heater’s longevity and performance. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, don’t wait for crisis to strike. Start implementing these maintenance tips today and enjoy the extended lifespan and all-round benefits of a well-cared-for water heater. 

To schedule professional maintenance or if you suspect a problem with your water heater, contact the experts at Five Star Home Services for a thorough inspection and top-notch service. Remember, a little proactive maintenance goes a long way in keeping the heart of your hot water system healthy and functional. So, keep these tips in mind and keep your water heater running smoothly for years to come! 

Have a question about water heater maintenance or need additional help? Give your friends at Five Star Home Services a call today at (833) 405-8009. As a local, family-owned company since 1972, we are committed to keeping your satisfaction. We proudly serve Greater Columbus, Greater Cincinnati, Greater Dayton, and surrounding areas. 

Let’s all work together towards extending the lifespan of our trusty water heaters. In the meantime, happy heating! 

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