Water heater installation is a relatively expensive venture, so it makes sense that every homeowner would want their water heater to last forever. Your water heater might not last forever, but it can last a long time, depending on the following factors.
Water Mineral Content
Residential water typically has dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. The type and quantity of minerals vary by location. Unfortunately, a lot of dissolved minerals can reduce your water heater's life expectancy.
As the water gets heated, the dissolved minerals separate from the water and settle at the bottom of the tank. Over time, the accumulated deposits become too much and form and insulate the water from the heater. This makes the water heater works harder than it should by increasing the duration of the heating cycles. The longer heating cycles increases the wear and tear of the water heater.
Apart from dissolved minerals, residential water also contains different chemicals, some of which trigger corrosion. For example, chemicals that reduce the pH of the water (increases acidity) accelerate the corrosion of the water heater. Over time, the corroded parts become weak and can even develop holes and cracks.
Hot Water Usage
The amount of hot water you use also determines your water heater's condition with time. This is because the water heater expands each time you heat it, and it contracts when it cools. The constant expansion and contraction with each heating cycle weakens the water heater material. The more hot water you use, the faster the tank wears down.
Most plumbing systems need regular maintenance, and your water heater system is the same. Some of the necessary maintenance practices include:
- Replacing the anode wire when necessary
- Draining the tank and washing away the sediments regularly
- Insulting the system, including the pipes
- Avoiding unnecessarily high temperatures
- Fixing malfunctions as soon as they occur
It also helps to limit DIY services and relying on professional services. The professionals are much less likely to make mistakes compared to you.
The location of the water heater may also affect how long it lasts. Some water heaters are located in areas where they are exposed to all kinds of damages. For example, setting up a water heater in a tight or unvented location can make it overwork and break down more often. The same thing can happen if you locate a water heater where it's frequently exposed to floods.
Consult a residential plumbing company if your water heater is malfunctioning, even if the heater still produces hot water. You need to fix the malfunctions to help you prolong the heater's useful life.