Water heater maintenance is often overlooked by new home owners but it is a critical step in extending the lifespan of your current water heater.

The cost of replacing a hot water heater depends on several factors…such as where you live, the size and construction of your new tank and its energy efficiency.

Water heater replacement is a costly matter, while water heater maintenance takes a small amount of time and isn’t very costly, at all.

The most important thing that you can do is to check the sacrificial anode rod on your water every three to six months. The sacrificial anode rod is a rod inserted into your hot water heater that corrodes instead of the lining of your hot water heater. (A similar type of anode is used on ocean ships to prevent the ship’s hull from corroding and causing a leak.)

Using a water softener can increase the speed at which this rod will corrode and once it’s gone; there is no other defense to the walls of your water heater from corrosion. The sacrificial anode simply screws out of the top of the water heater tank and should be replaced before it is down to the wire. You can purchase a new sacrificial anode at your local hardware store for less than $50.

Another important aspect of hot water heater maintenance is flushing the tank. Over time the natural sediment and mineral from your water will accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank. As this sediment builds up, it can cause issues with your heating element and damage the bottom of your tank. By taking the time to properly flush your hot water heater tank, you will remove this dangerous build up of sediment and allow your hot water heater to run as efficiently as possible.

Of course, even with proper hot water heater maintenance, the day will come when you will need to replace your current water heater. Make sure that you call a licensed professional plumber who can replace your old hot water heater with a newer, more energy efficient model for your home.

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