With water heaters accounting for about 18% of the energy use in a home, they’re pretty important systems. Because homeowners use water heaters every day, it’s important they take care of them and ensure they’re running as efficiently as possible. This is especially true if homeowners want to avoid having to prematurely replace their unit. This article is going to discuss a few ways homeowners can extend the life of the water heater units.

Clean out the tank annually. As your water heater continuously cycles through water, it can begin to build up minerals and substances on the bottom of the tank. This sediment buildup can not only cause your unit to run less efficiently but shorten the lifespan of the unit as well. If sediment is left to build up at the bottom of the water tank, it can corrode the tank walls and cause damage and leaks. Fortunately, flushing out a water tank is an easy fix for this problem. At least once a year, homeowners should flush out their water tanks to remove sediment buildup and prevent it from recurring.

Have a second anode rod installed. One of the many essential parts of a water heater is an anode rod. An anode rod is a magnesium or aluminum rod that withstands galvanic corrosion over time in order to prevent corrosion in the water tank. This is an easy way to check the condition of your water heater — homeowners should check the anode rod periodically to see how much it is changing over time. It’s important to have a second or new anode rod installed before the water tank begins to rust or leak. Once this happens, it’s usually time for new water heater installation. But this can be prolonged by keeping the anode rod in good condition.

Consider an expansion tank. When water is heated, it expands within the water heater tank. With nowhere to go, the heated water begins to push and stretch the tank it’s contained in. Because of this, water heaters undergo a great deal of stress and pressure from the expanded water. This expansion and contraction will, unfortunately, shorten the tank’s lifespan. But if an expansion tank is installed, it will alleviate that stress and pressure, ultimately extending the life of the water heater.

Hopefully, this article will help your water heater last as long as possible. With regular maintenance and the help of professional plumbing services, your water heater should last for years to come.