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How To Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

Posted: May 16, 2022

Be Aware of Manufacturer Maintenance Guidelines

You can’t enjoy home comfort without a dependable supply of hot water. We depend on it for showering and bathing, cooking, washing our clothes and dishes, and more. So how long can you depend on the current water heating system in your home?

The life span of the most common water heater—units with a storage tank—can vary greatly, anywhere from 7 to 13 years. How long your tank water heater lasts depends on a number of factors, including the temperature of the water you set for the tank, the volume of water used, the overall quality of water heater model, and perhaps most importantly, the water quality. How hard is it? Does it have a high amount of mineral content?

To head off any problems, especially if you have hard water, it’s a wise idea to have a service technician flush out your hot water storage tank once a year. This procedure will remove sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. This sediment is caused by the build-up of minerals. The technician can also check the condition of the anode rod, which generally last from 3-5 years.

What is an anode rod?

Tank water heaters contain many parts and components, including a long metal anode rod, which extends the life of your water heater by preventing corrosion from building up inside your tank. This is the unsung “hero” of your water heater.

Usually made of magnesium or aluminum, the anode rod does its job through a process called electrolysis. The metals in the anode rod attract ions that normally would cause rust in iron and steel. But instead, these ions latch on to the anode rod and as a result, cause it to degrade over time. Without the anode rod, your water heater could rust out in just a few years. That’s why it’s so important to replace the anode rod after it degrades.

Water Heater Repairs, Maintenance, and Replacement

If you think your water heater is failing—please contact us about your options. We install all types of water heaters—oil, propane, natural gas, and electric–so not only does our team have vast experience, but we know how to handle any situation that might arise in a typical installation job.

Direct-fired Water Heaters

This is the most common type of water heater, with a dedicated burner inside to heat water that is stored in a tank. As you use the water in the tank, the supply of hot water is constantly replenished.

Indirect-fired Water Heaters

Indirect-fired water heaters use the burner inside your boiler to heat your tap water. (The boiler water never mixes with the contents of your water heater). Because of this configuration, an indirect-fired water heater is one of the most efficient water heating options available.

Tankless Water Heaters

Speaking of efficiency, more homeowners are opting for a tankless water heater when it’s time to replace their direct-fired unit. (If you have a tankless water heater, you do not have to worry about getting the anode rod checked because it doesn’t need one).

These customers take advantage of an option that needs less space in the home and that provides a virtually endless supply of hot water on demand. Tankless water heaters are also more energy-efficient, and have a longer life than other types of water heaters.

Please reach out to us for more information about your water heater options or if you have questions about water heater maintenance. Read more about water heaters.

Wilson Oil & Propane is the company that people in the Delaware Valley area of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey can depend on for maintenance or repair of water heating systems, as well as furnaces, boilers, heat pumps and central air conditioning systems.

We have professional technicians who can handle anything from annual maintenance to emergency heating and cooling system repairs to top-notch equipment replacement. Become a customer today.