If you are like most people in Knoxville you know the importance of nice hot water for showers, baths, and so on. But did you know that routine maintenance on your water heater can help lower your energy bills and extend the life of your water heater.
Out of sight and out of mind, water heaters generally are forgotten until something happens with them, that unexpected cold shower or the sound of water shooting out of the busted water heater. And when things go wrong, too many home owners reach for the quickest fix. And that could lead to paying more than you need to for emergency service.
Water heaters will generally last between eight to 12 years but, like a car, there are some that have lasted for 17 to 20 years. Age has a lot to do with it, If there is a lot of calcium build up, it may go quicker. There is not much you can do about getting rid of lime.
Water heaters are one of the most important purchases you can make for your home; they account for about 15 to 30 percent of your home’s total energy consumption. And now may be a good time to take a look at your water heater. If your water heater is 10 years old or older and needs replacement, a new more energy efficient model can save you money on the electric bills too.
Bizzy B Plumbing techs say there are a few indications your water heater may soon be on its last leg.
- The main sign is getting less hot water from the tap, The length of time you have hot water diminishes. But 9 times out of 10, we usually start getting calls when people see a leak or a drip. Those drips are caused by a buildup of minerals, such as calcium and lime, over the years. One way to help limit the clog is to drain your water heater. Drain it three or four times a year, That is the best way for the water heaters not to generate lime build up. Drainage is one of the biggest things you can do to help your water heater. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot you can do. When it comes to draining, follow the steps suggested by the manufacturers for that specific tank.
- Changing the anode rod – which essentially runs down the middle of the tank to catch mineral build up and prevent corrosion – every six months or so.
- On gas heaters, the thermal coupling, which keeps the pilot light lit, can go out. The gas valve also may need to be replaced.
- On electric heaters, the thermostat and heating elements are sometimes in need of replacement.
These routine maintenance tips can save you money in the long run, because replacing your average 40- or 50-gallon electric water heater can cost between $800 and $1,200.