What You Can Do to Extend the Life of Your Hot Water Tank
Whether you want to install a new hot water tank or you are looking for ways to get more life out of your existing one, you can do a few things to extend the lifespan of your water heater.
Some of the tips you can follow include lowering the water temperature, installing an anode rod, flushing the bottom, and adding insulation to your tank.
Lower the water temperature
If you're looking to save money on your energy bills, you might want to consider lowering the water temperature in your hot water tank. It isn't hard to do and can lead to considerable savings.
Water heaters use up 18% of the energy used in the average home. The higher the water temperature, the more the heating element has to work. So you should keep your water heater temperature in the 120 to 140 degree range.
Turning down the water temperature will save you energy and increase the lifespan of your water heater. It is a good idea to check your water heater's gauge regularly and to use it as a reference when you need to adjust the temperature.
You can also use an anode rod to keep minerals from accumulating in the tank lining. This will increase the life of your water heater and reduce your monthly utility bill.
A water heater's anode rod is a metal rod with a steel core designed to trap minerals and prevent corrosion. However, the anode rod's effectiveness at attracting minerals is reduced over time.
Flush the bottom
If you are looking to extend the life of your water heater, you may want to consider flushing the bottom of your tank. This process will remove sediment and improve its overall efficiency. It will also help prevent expensive plumbing disasters.
Here are 6 easy steps to drain a hot water heater.
First, you should turn off the power to your water heater. You can do this by turning off your circuit breaker. Next, make sure that the cold water supply valve is closed. Then, connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of the tank.
Once the hose is connected, you should be able to start draining the tank. Some tanks require you to lift the valve to allow the water to rush out.
When you are finished, you can fill it up with new water. The end of the hose should look clear. In some cases, you might need to replace the hose.
After you are done, you should check out the drain line to see if it is actually working. You might see a little bit of red or yellow water coming out.
Install an anode rod
If you're looking for a way to prolong the life of your hot water heater past the normal 10-15 years, you may want to consider installing an anode rod. These are typically located at the top of the tank. They help counteract corrosion and prolong the life of your tank.
To install an anode rod, you'll need a few materials. First, you'll need a hex plug head socket tool. You can buy this at a home improvement center or on the Internet.
Next, you'll need pipe-joint compound. Having this on hand will save you time. After applying the compound, you'll need to wrap it around the joint threads of the new anode rod. PTFE thread sealing tape can also be used to seal these threads.
The type of anode you use will determine the lifespan of your water heater. If you live in an area with hard water, it's a good idea to choose an aluminum or zinc anode. On the other hand, if you have soft water, a magnesium anode can work well. However, they don't last as long as an aluminum or zinc one.
You may need help from a plumber on this task.
Adding insulation to your hot water tank will help keep your hot water hot and reduce the amount of energy you use. This is a cost effective and easy way to conserve energy. If you've got an older tank that isn't heating well, adding more insulation is an easy way to improve its performance.
Heat loss is a major problem in most homes. The United States Department of Energy estimates that about 18 percent of home energy usage goes towards water heating. In addition to reducing energy costs, insulating the tank can also extend the life of the heater.
Insulating the water tank will increase its efficiency by up to 40%. Insulating pipes running to your hot water tank can help control heat loss and prevent frozen pipes. A water heater's internal pipes can lose 2 to 4 degrees of heat every day. These extra temperatures can cause the accumulation of sediment. Flushing out sediment can help eliminate this buildup.
If your hot water tank is failing, it's time for professional repair or replacement service from a local plumbing company.
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