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On average a water heater lasts between 8 and 12 years when maintained properly. There are some annual maintenance duties that will extend the life of the water heater. You can do this job yourself with just a screwdriver and a bucket.

Turn off the power before you start. For electric water heaters turn off the power and gas heaters turn off the gas supply.

  • The first step is to do a mini flush. A flush of the hot water tank helps to prevent rust and corrosion. You’ll be removing sediment from the bottom of the tank which will improve the energy efficiency of the unit. Simply place a bucket under the drain valve. Turn the drain valve to release a couple of gallons of water into the bucket.
  • Next, you wanna test the temperature and pressure valve. This valve senses dangerous pressure buildup or excessively high temperature inside the water heater tank. Locate this valve on your water heater and let the water flow for a few seconds.
  • Lastly, dial down the temperature on the water heater. Most water heaters are installed at a preset temperature of 130 to 140° degrees. Adjust the temperature setting to 120 degrees. This can reduce energy costs for heating the water. Adjust the lower thermostat to the same temperature as the upper.

Just these three tips can help with the life of the hot water heater and proper maintenance.

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