Being constantly exposed to the destructive forces of both water and heat, a water heater is much more vulnerable to damage than other home appliances. Fortunately, with a little bit of regular maintenance, it is possible to give your water heater a long lifespan.
If you would like to learn more about keeping your heater in tip top shape, read on. This article will discuss two destructive substances and how to keep them from destroying your water heater.
With the exception of water that has been treated by a water softener, minerals such as calcium and magnesium can be found in more or less all water. Should these minerals occur in high enough concentrations, the water is referred to as hard water. Hard water is known for leaving unsightly deposits in bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures.
Waterborne minerals cause especial problems for water heaters. That's because, over time, they build up at the bottom of the tank in a solid layer of what is known as scale. The harder your particular water supply, the more quickly this scale will develop. As the deposit grows thicker, it will increasingly impact the efficiency of your water heater, absorbing the heat before it can get to the water. Eventually, the scale will cause your heater to fail altogether.
The good news is that you can prevent scale related problems by flushing your heater on a yearly basis. This process involves shutting the heater off, allowing the water to cool, then attaching a hose to the outflow valve and letting the tank's water flow. In the process, a good deal of the scale is carried out along with it; repeated flushes will help to remove a majority of the sediment.
Because a water heater is, by its very nature, perpetually exposed to water, rust poses a huge problem. Left to its own devices, such corrosion would eventually chew holes in the walls of the tank. To keep this from happening, every water heater contains an anode rod. The anode rod is composed of a soft metal, one that is especially attractive to the forces of corrosion.
In other words, the anode rod is used as "decoy" to keep corrosion from affecting the tank itself. In this fashion the anode rod will eventually be consumed entirely. Should this happen, rust will once again attack the tank itself. Thus it is important to have the anode rod checked by a professional on a regular basis. By installing a new rod when the old one becomes too corroded, your tank will retain its most important line of defense against unwanted rust.
For more information, contact local professionals like Buchner Bernie Inc.