A water heater cannot simply run on its own without you giving it any care. Caring for it properly will not only ensure it stays working well for you, but that your water heater lasts longer, which saves you money. Follow the three tips below so your water heater will be happy and healthy.
Tune It Up
Unless you are experienced, hire a plumber to come to your home and tune up your water heater every couple of years. The plumber will flush out the tank and then run clear, fresh water through the tank to remove sediment that may be built up inside of it.
The plumber will check the anode rod, which is made of either magnesium or aluminum. The anode rod is important as it attracts corrosive elements found in water, which keeps these elements out of your water heater. Over time, the anode rod will deteriorate, and when this happens the thickness is reduced. If the anode rod is not thick enough, the plumber will replace it. They may also suggest that you have a second anode rod installed to give your water heater even more protection.
The plumber can also check the heat setting of the water heater. If it is too high, which is generally around 140 degrees, they will suggest you turn it down to 120 degrees. This will help you save money on your gas bill each month.
Use Only Soft Water
If you have hard water in your home, you should purchase a water softener. Hard water is very heavy in minerals that are not only destructive to water heaters but also your plumbing pipes and any appliances that use water, such as your dishwasher. A water softener will remove these minerals from the water.
If you have hard water, you likely have water spots on dishes from a dishwasher, find it hard to lather soap, and may not feel clean after you take a bath or shower. There are different types of water softeners you can choose from.
Insulate Your Water Heater
If your water heater is located in an attic, basement, or garage, you should consider insulating it. This is because the water heater does not have any protection from the cold. You can purchase insulation blankets that are specifically made for water heaters. The blanket will have an R value, and the higher the value is, the thicker the blanket. You want the blanket to be thick because it offers more insulation.
If you have a new water heater, it is likely already insulated by the factory. The insulation is placed between the tank and the metal shell. If you are not sure if your water heater is already insulated, look on a label that should be on your water heater.
If your water heater is old, you should consider replacing it, as newer water heaters are much more energy efficient. Contact a company like Brother's Plumbing for more information.