Watching Those Filters

3 Important Water Heater Maintenance Tasks

Do you have a water heater that needs to be replaced? Do you want to make sure that this new water heater lasts for as long as possible? It's not uncommon for a water heater to be half-forgotten unless it acts up and requires replacement. Unfortunately, this neglect means that the water heater in question may not last as long as it could. But with proper maintenance, your water heater can continue to function for many years to come. Some things that need to be done for your new water heater include:

Drain the tank yearly: Tap water often contains various amounts of dissolved minerals. Even if you have a water softener attached to your system, the water softener is unlikely to completely remove all mineral content. Over time, these minerals can precipitate out of the water and fall to the bottom of the tank. If you don't drain the tank yearly, they will continue to build up and can insulate the bottom of the tank. This unwanted insulation can cause the heating element or burner to work harder to heat up the water, potentially causing it to need to be replaced. Severe buildup can actually damage the water heater's lining, causing leaks and leaving you with no choice but to have another water heater installation performed. Yearly draining of the tank can prevent this possibility.

Change the anode rod: In order to prevent the actual tank from corroding, the interior is lined with glass. Further protection is provided by the addition of a sacrificial anode rod. When compared with a whole new water heater installation, replacing the rod is a relatively easy and inexpensive process. These rods often have alarms on them so that you know when to have them replaced, but this may not be universally true. Whether or not it has one, it's a good idea to have your plumber inspect the rod on an annual basis just to make sure that everything is going well.

Check the pressure valve: A water heater tank that gets too hot can become extremely pressurized and has the potential to explode. In order to prevent this from happening, water heaters have a temperature and pressure relief valve - called a T&P valve for short. Should the heat and pressure rise too high, this valve will open and release water. Obviously, it's a good idea to make sure that this valve is in good working condition, so make sure to have your plumber check it regularly. A faulty valve could result in a relatively minor tank rupture or it could be something much more serious. In order to prevent needing a new water heater installation, make sure that your water heater has a working T&P valve. 

For more information, contact a business like R & B Inc Heating & Air Conditioning.