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3 Tips For Maintaining Your Water Heater

by Ryan Wright

Most people don't give much thought to their water heater, but when it ceases to work properly, it can be a huge inconvenience. A broken water heater doesn't necessarily mean that you have to buy a new water heater; in many cases, an experienced plumber can repair your broken unit. But if you want to prevent your water heater from malfunctioning and make it last longer, there are several things you can do. Use the following tips to maintain the water heater in your home:

Flush Your Water Heater Tank

In most areas, municipal water is full of impurities. Over time, these impurities can build up in your hot water tank and settle on the bottom. You don't want a lot of minerals and impurities in your hot water tank, as they can lead to rust and corrosion of the tank material. You can prevent the build up of minerals and impurities by flushing your water heater regularly. Flushing the hot water heater can be a DIY project for a homeowner, but if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, an experienced plumber like those at Biard & Crockett Plumbing can assist you.

Take a Look at the Anode Rod

There is a good chance that you may not know what an anode rod is or be aware that your water heater has one. But the anode rod is vital to keeping a water heater functioning properly. An anode rod is typically made of magnesium or aluminum. By means of electric/chemical reactions, anode rods in water heaters protect the steel lining of the water tank from corrosion. They are able to do this because they absorb the electrical current that causes corrosion, so the anode rod corrodes first. The rate of corrosion can vary from water heater to water heater, so it is important to inspect your anode rod to ensure that it is not completely corroded. If you find that it is in bad shape, it will need to be replaced with a new anode rod to prevent rust and corrosion of the water tank.

Check for Leaks

A water heater that is in good repair does not leak, so if you're finding water around the unit a repair may be in order. Even if the leak seems small, don't ignore it; it is much easier to have a small leak repaired than have to deal with potential water damage and having to replace your water heater. If you notice that you have a leaky water heater, contact a plumber as soon as you can.