Tips to Extend Your Water Heater’s Life

water heaterHow much water damage can water heater leaks really cause? Consider the news report two years ago about a standard 30-gallon water heater in a state government facility that ruptured and released thousands of gallons, damaging 12,000 square feet of the building that cost over $100,000 to repair. A water heater is connected directly to the main water supply line. Flooding doesn’t stop when a ruptured tank empties. Hundreds of gallons of water per hour may continue to inundate your house.

Signs of small water heater leaks such as water pooling on the floor can be warnings of impending disaster or a relatively simple symptom that a qualified plumber can resolve:

  • Any leakage from the tank itself is a red flag that must be taken seriously. The heater should be shut down and the cold water valve that controls water flow into the tank should be closed. Then, call a plumber and get an estimate for a new heater as tank leakage is unrepairable.
  • A dribbling temperature/pressure relief valve on the side or top of the unit is unlikely to trigger major water damage. It’s an individual component that can be replaced by a qualified plumber without installing a new heater.

Water heaters have an expected service life of only six to ten years so replacement is something you’ll probably have to face more than once. You can help delay internal corrosion that accelerates tank leakage by flushing the tank once or twice yearly to remove accumulated mineral sediment.

  • Shut down the heater and close the cold water inlet valve.
  • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve fitting at the bottom of the tank. Run the other end of the hose outside.
  • Open the drain valve and drain the tank.
  • Open and close the cold water inlet valve several times to create a flushing effect inside the tank.
  • Close the drain valve and open the cold water inlet valve to refill the tank.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to re-light the heater.

For more about prevention of water heater leaks or recovery from water damage caused by leakage, contact Rytech, Inc.

Tags: , ,

Return to the Blog Home Page