Do water heaters need maintenance? Absolutely. Whether gas or electric, tank or tankless, all water heaters require maintenance in order to improve their performance and to keep them running for as long as possible.
Below, we’ll go into more detail about the basic maintenance requirements of tank water heaters and tankless water heaters so that you can ensure a steady supply of hot water to your home for years to come.
Tank Water Heater Maintenance
Flush Out Sediment (Once a Year)
One of the most common issues with tank water heaters is sediment buildup inside the tank. The bigger the layer of sediment it has in its tank, the more your water heater will have to work to warm up the water inside. This means that your water heater will need to use more energy, which will end up increasing your utility bill.
To maintain your water heater’s efficiency, flush the sediment from the tank once a year.
Inspect the Anode Rod (Every 2 to 3 Years)
Have you ever wondered how your water heater’s tank manages not to rust inside? This is all thanks to the tank’s anode rod. The anode rod’s presence in the tank allows it to corrode instead of the tank itself. Without an anode rod, your water heater would not last nearly as long. With a properly maintained anode rod, your water heater can easily last 10 years or more.
To make sure that your water heater’s anode rod is able to function properly, have it inspected every 2 to 3 years. The rod should be replaced if:
the rod is covered with limescale;
the rod is less than 0.5 inches thick;
or if you can see more than 6 inches of the rod’s core steel.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Flush Away Limescale (Once a Year)
Having a tankless water heater avoids the problem of sediment buildup, but tankless water heaters are susceptible to limescale. Limescale has a tendency to accumulate on the heating elements and the pipes. The more limescale coats the heating element, the less efficient the water heater becomes.
To keep up your tankless water heater’s efficiency, it’s important to flush it with the proper acidic solution to dissolve the limescale. This should be done once a year.
Clean the Air Intake Filter (Once a Year)
If your air intake filter is not properly cleaned and maintained, debris will start to enter your tankless water heater. The air intake filter can be cleaned at the same time the limescale is being flushed out (see previous maintenance tip). The filter can usually just be rinsed and dried by hand.
Need help with water heater maintenance? At Moe Plumbing Services, our experts are dedicated to providing top-notch water heater services in Los Angeles.