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While you don’t need to be a plumbing expert to own a home, you should have a basic idea of what’s going on with your plumbing system. One of the most important things you can keep an eye on is your water heater, especially during the winter when you rely on hot water so much. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners don’t keep up with water heater repair and maintenance, resulting in a sudden lack of hot water. If you want to make sure you’re taking care of your water heater, here’s what you need to know about them.
How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
When it comes to keeping up with maintenance, it’s important to know how long things are expected to last. While it may be shocking for one appliance to stop working after just 10 years, that may be completely normal for another. Most water heater repair experts will tell you that a water heater is designed to last about 10 to 12 years.
It’s important to remember that water heaters can have a longer or shorter lifespan depending on how well you take care of them. If you don’t keep up with water heater maintenance, yours could stop working after just six or eight years. This is why repairs and maintenance are so important.
Water Heater Maintenance
Chances are you don’t keep up with water heater maintenance like you do auto maintenance. The truth is, you should be having somebody take a look at your water heater and clean it up every once in a while if you want it to last. A little bit of maintenance once or twice a year can easily extend the life of your water heater.
The most important thing you can do when it comes to water heater maintenance is make sure your water heater is flushed regularly. Water heater repair experts recommend having your water heater flushed once every six months to remove sediment. When this sediment builds up too much, it leads to an increase in corrosion which is ultimately the downfall of your water heater. While there are some parts that can be replaced, there’s not a whole lot you can do if your water heater tank is corroding due to poor maintenance.
Water Heater Repairs
Keeping up with water heater repairs is another important part of extending the life of your water heater. While you can’t fix every problem, there are a few different parts you can replace to make your water heater run like new again.
If your water isn’t getting hot enough or isn’t warming up at all, chances are you’ve got a bad heating element. In most cases, it’s going to be your lower heating element that’s bad since it does the majority of the work. However, there are times when the upper element will give out first and need to be replaced. The thermostat is another possibility if replacing the elements doesn’t solve anything.
You might also need to have a water heater repair expert change your sacrificial anode rod occasionally. This rod is designed to prevent corrosion of the tank, so it’s extremely important that yours is in good shape. If your tank is starting to corrode a little bit, it could be that you’ve had a bad sacrificial anode for a while and that’s what’s resulting in the damage.
Upgrading Your Water Heater
Since water heaters don’t last all that long, it’s important to know when it’s time to upgrade your water heater and what your options are. If you’re spending a fortune on water heater repairs all the time, it’s definitely time to upgrade to a new and improved water heater for your Bedford, TX, home.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to upgrade your water heater once it’s been in use for about 10 years. Sure, you may be able to squeeze a few more years out of it, but one day you’ll end up with no hot water when you need it most. By replacing your water heater now, you can make sure you’ve got access to hot water for years to come.
You also need to upgrade your water heater if the tank is badly corroded. While you can do a little bit of patchwork on a water heater tank, it’s really not worth the money it costs to hire a water heater repair company.
Types of Water Heaters
The good news about getting a new water heater is that there are lots of options on the market today. You have your choice between gas and electric water heaters, plus you can get a tankless, tank-style or point-of-use water heater.
Point-of-use water heaters are great if you want to supply water to a single room. However, they require a lot more plumbing work than a standard water heater. If you want similar convenience with less work, a whole-house tankless water heater is a good option.
Tank-style water heaters are the most common option and have been for quite some time. However, you can even find tank-type point-of-use water heaters that allow you to keep a small reserve of water for each room.
When it comes to upgrading your water heater, the choice is yours. Just make sure you talk to a water heater repair expert so you know you’re making the right choice.
The Best Way
Taking care of your water heater can be a lot of work, but the last thing you want is no hot water in the middle of a frigid winter morning. At Tioga Contractors, we have the expertise it takes to help you prevent water heater problems and keep your plumbing system in good shape. We can even replace your water heater in your Bedford, TX, home for you when the time comes. Give us a call at (817) 484-5356 to find out more today.