Hot water heater replacement is a fact of life for any homeowner. Every hot water heater is sold with a manufacturer’s warranty. The longer the warranty, the thicker the walls of the water heater and the less likely that you will have to replace your current water heater.
However, once you are outside of the manufacturer’s warranty, consider yourself living on borrowed time. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the overall lifespan of your hot water heater.
The first and most controllable factor is routine maintenance. Make sure that you flush your water heater tank and check the pressure release valve at least once every six to twelve months.
Another often overlooked piece of maintenance is checking the sacrificial anodes. The anodes are placed in your tank so that they can corrode instead of the lining of your hot water heater. These anodes should be checked when you flush your water heater tank. Once the anode is “down to the wire” it is time to be replaced. Otherwise, the natural sediments and minerals in your water will begin to corrode the lining of your hot water heater, leading to premature failure of the water heater tank walls. Replacing the sacrificial anodes is a lot less expensive than replacing your hot water heater. This is a direct factor in your hot water heater replacement timeline.
Even with proper care and maintenance, sooner or later, every hot water heater will need to be replaced. It is important that you call a licensed plumber at the first sign of trouble to help protect the safety of you and your family and to ensure that your property is not damaged from a leaking hot water heater. In a worst case scenario, a damaged hot water heater, if left unattended, could explode.