The very first question most people ask when it comes to buying water heaters is, “What is its typical lifespan?” It’s but natural for us to be concerned how long a water heater can last before it starts to malfunction or lose its integrity. In any case, a standard water heater will last somewhere between 8 and 12 years. A lot of tanks today are steel lined with glass or porcelain, and can oxidise and deteriorate over time and eventually leak. Most will leak very slowly, and most cases, dramatically.
In rare cases, home owners reported that their water heaters lasted between 15 and 20 years. Take note, however, that even though a water heater is still working any number of years after purchase, its efficiency may not be the same as the moment you bought it. So what can you do to increase your water heater’s lifespan? Here are some tips on how to extend the life of your water heater.
Add a second anode rod
Adding a second anode rod can increase the life of your water heater significantly. The anode rod is a rod that’s made of magnesium or aluminium that undergoes galvanic corrosion over time and prevents the corrosion of the tank.
Use an expansion tank
An expansion tank can double the life of your water heater, especially if you’re on a closed system. When water is heated from 50 degrees to 120 degrees, it expands by 2 per cent (a 10L tank will produce an additional litre). A closed system is where a valve prevents water from back flowing into the water main. Water then has nowhere else to go, and since it’s not a compressible material, there will be rapid increase and decrease in water pressure. This expansion and contraction will cause stress on your heater and your plumbing system, which can then cause further damage.
Clean or flush out your tank
Flushing out your tanks can help prevent sediment build-up and help maintain your tank’s efficiency for far longer.
Install a Pressure Regulating Valve or PRV
A high water pressure above 90PSI can damage your appliances and cause your heater to fail prematurely. A pressure regulating valve or PRV helps prevent this. You can also install this on your expansion tank.
Install water softeners
Hard water is water with high mineral content and when it runs through your water heater, they can cause scaling, which is the precipitation of minerals and deposits onto the surface of an appliance. These minerals can reduce the lifespan of your water heater and in many cases, a water softener can help reduce the wear and tear brought about by hard water.