Maximizing The Life Of Your Water Heater
The inner workings of your water heater aren't so very complex that you can't take steps to maintain them on your own. While a good plumber will make things easier, certain precautions and maintenance can be done by even the most novice handyman. If your water heater is up to code and still working, these simple actions can keep it going for a while longer, though actual results will depend on a variety of other factors.
Two Birds, One Stone
Of all the things that can render a water heater useless, broken heating elements are one such event that can be staved off with a simple precaution. Reducing the temperature on your water heater's heating elements to 120 degrees will prolong their life as well as save money in the short run on energy use. Regardless of whether your water heater is gas or electric, the steps are quite similar, though the net result may differ.
Water heaters used in the average 4-bedroom home all have two heating elements, one on top and one on the bottom. Their thermostats can be accessed through small rectangular panels which are secured with screws. You'll find the thermostat inside each panel, but be sure to set each thermostat to the same temperature to avoid wasting energy as one constantly works overtime to compensate for the other.
Combating Hard Water
Even if your area has relatively low mineral content in the water, over the years, the build-up of lime scale, calcium deposits, and other compounds will have an impact. Installing a water softener will prevent new deposits, but you should also look into ways of de-scaling the inside of the tank as well. Removing these deposits will ensure that your water heater retains its capacity and will help maintain its performance.
Water softeners should be installed on the inflow side of the water heater, ideally at the point your water line enters your home. This will ensure that you get the benefit of the device throughout your home. De-scaling agents should be added to an empty tank, allowed to sit for a period of time defined by the manufacturer, and then flushed out to avoid the risk of allergic reactions, chemical burns on sensitive skin, or other adverse effects.
Your water heater is one of the more expensive appliances in your home, and one of the most costly to operate. Making sure that it's running at peak efficiency and lasts as long as possible will help you avoid unnecessary repair bills or replacement expenses.
For professional help with your water heater, contact a company such as Biard & Crockett Plumbing.