Your tank hot water heater can last a long time with the proper care here in Boise, ID. When water heater replacement time does come, you’ll know and you can slide it out and have another one installed without incident. The secret is occasional maintenance and inspections, and at EC Plumbing we’re glad to help. Just an occasional visit from your plumber to check on things, perhaps replace the anode rod or adjust the thermostat, and on you go for more years. If issues occur along the way, the unit’s not keeping water hot or the pressure safety valve is making a mess, you might need a repair visit or two also. Still when the alternative is faster decay and possible drama, plus cleanup along with water heater replacement, Nine out of ten homeowners — or more — surely would choose the maintenance over the mess. Wouldn’t you?
Keeping Your Hot Water Hot Helps Your Energy Bill and Water Heater Condition
Insulating your pipes and tank, and making sure that when your heater brings the water up to temperature, it stays there, helps your heater be more efficient. The heating element has to work less, it consumes less energy, and when the water stays hot and doesn’t cool much, the natural pressure inside the tank stays steady. Varying pressure affects the pressure relief valve that’s holding tight against overpressure, and flexes the tank, causing wear in its materials and construction, leading to a faster need for a new unit. Sometimes you can see and hear signs of cycling, including small leaks from the pressure relief valve, sounds of water heating and bubbling through minerals accumulating at the bottom of the tank, and other whistling or sighing sounds. A bit of insulation, especially in an unheated space, can help your water heater get through the winter with more ease and serve your family better.
Your Tank’s Lifetime Is Affected by Many Factors
The heart of your hot water heater is a lined metal tank, holding the hot water and keeping it hot while preventing burns of people who touch it but also managing the pressure changes that come with heating water. The tank is affected by the quality of the water it’s holding, and hard water can be harsh on the metals as chemical reactions cause degradation. The more degradation, the sooner a water heater replacement is necessary. A component inside your water heater tank called the anode rod sacrifices its own materials to balance the chemistry inside the tank, helping extend the life of your unit and avoid water heater replacement. The anode rod also helps discourage the growth of bacteria and other contaminants inside the tank, keeping your water fresh and scent-free. If your water heater lasts ten to fifteen years, you should have the anode rod replaced a half dozen times or more over its life. Normally, that will be a simple repair during annual maintenance, when the technician inspects the anode rod and determines that it won’t last another year. Because of that repair, the need for a water heater replacement should be delayed for a bit longer.
Your Hot Water Quality Can Indicate Problems in the Tank
A slight rotten smell from the hot water during your shower can be a sign that unwelcome bacteria are growing in your hot water heater tank. The anode rod’s sacrificial operation changes the chemistry in the water to help discourage bacteria growth as well as protect the tank from corrosion, but hard water can also leave material accumulating in the bottom of the tank. You may hear bubbling sounds as heated water gathers under sediment, then bursts forth and rises naturally through the tank. As sediment gathers, it offers a place for water to grow stagnant in your heater, which was designed to use the natural movement of heated water to keep stirring its contents. Fortunately, another part of water heater maintenance is flushing sediment from the tank, renewing it, and leaving the water healthy and flowing throughout the tank. Boise, ID water tends to be hard water, and your plumber will select your replacement anode rod’s material accordingly. If you decide to install a water softener system, the change in the chemistry of your home’s water will likely shorten the anode rod’s lifetime. To avoid premature water heater replacement, make sure your plumber is checking the anode rod at least annually.
Keep an Eye on the Pressure Relief Valve
Stories of water heater explosions may sound like they’re exaggerated, but weakening water heater tanks and malfunctioning pressure relief valves can be a dangerous combination. Your plumber can check and replace the valve if problems are suspected, either from testing or when you hear signs of trouble such as whistling from the unit. Even if the failure is not dramatic, a build-up of pressure will eventually result in early tank failure and water heater replacement even in a unit that could have lasted years longer. When your plumber spends a bit of time each year to make sure everything is in good shape with your water heater, you gain water quality, safety, and a longer time until water heater replacement is needed. When that time comes, your plumber’s advice will be what motivates you to make the decision, and it’s much less likely that you’ll be forced into a sudden repair and basement cleanup.
EC Plumbing is Your Boise, ID Water Heater Replacement Expert
A quick, careful process is the best way to keep your water heater flowing for another decade or more, and you’ll probably gain a lot of energy savings as well. Contact us at EC Plumbing for your water heater maintenance and rely on us for expert replacement when the time comes, including changes in your hot water system to meet your needs. We can add a second tank unit, whole-house tankless units, or localized ones, and care for all your plumbing. Call us.
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