If you were asked to name a few of the most critical plumbing features in your home, what would that list consist of? For starters, a toilet, sink, and shower are a must — but what about your water heater? This unit, which provides hot water throughout your home, often goes forgotten until a problem occurs.
To help keep your water heater around for a significant amount of time and help it perform up to par, here are some pro tips to consider!
Storage Tank Water Heater Tips for Homeowners
Always Examine Your Water Heater
Remember how we said that a water heater is typically neglected until something terrible happens? To prevent the latter from occurring, it’s imperative to examine your unit every now and then. While we don’t suggest turning knobs and trying to peer inside, give the outside of the unit a thorough examination — especially if it’s been around for quite some time.
As it turns out, a water heater can develop rust when you least expect it. This tends to happen when the anode rod inside of it needs to be replaced. Furthermore, this steel core wire (which is temporary) has minerals on it (zinc, magnesium, and aluminum) to help protect your water heater from corroding, or worse — bursting.
If you happen to notice the smallest trace of rust on the outer steel jacket of your water heater, it’s best to give your plumber a call. That way, they can get to the source of the rust and let you know whether you’ll need to have the anode rod replaced; if the rust is severe, you may need to have your water heater replaced altogether.
Don’t Ignore Repair Warning Sights and Sounds
If you were on the way to the grocery store and heard your car making an array of strange noises, would you continue to drive or pull over to the side of the road? Just like a motor vehicle, a water heater will make it clear when it needs “medical assistance” from a professional.
In addition to signs of visible rust on the tank’s outer jacket, other sights and sounds that indicate that your water heater needs to be repaired include:
Running out of hot water quickly
Water is leaking from the unit
It’s making strange sounds, such as banging or clanking
If you notice rust of any shape or size (as mentioned earlier)
Now, while it may be tempting to put off a repair appointment — especially if you’re always on the go — doing so can do more harm than good. It can even create an unsafe situation in your home if the repair is delayed for quite some time (i.e., water heater combustion).
Annual Water Heater Maintenance is a Must
We cannot stress the importance of this enough: annual water heater maintenance is a must! Just like going for a routine checkup with your doctor each year, water heater maintenance can be looked at in a similar light of urgency.
When you schedule an appointment with your plumber, they’ll examine every square inch of your storage tank water heater — making sure that it’s in optimal condition and doesn’t show any signs of concern. However, if your plumber does run into a potential problem — such as seeing that your water heater is leaking at the base — they’ll come up with a solution as to how the issue can be resolved — but will speak with you first before making a move.