You probably have about a hundred other things on your mind aside from all the maintenance requirements for your home systems. Still, there are some systems for which preventive maintenance is an absolute necessity. Your water heater is one of those systems. If you want to keep your water heater in good shape and prevent big water heater repair needs, you need to make sure that you schedule preventive maintenance at least once a year.
Possible Water Heater Issues
It’s never a good idea to wait for problems to present themselves before calling for repairs. Most of the issues that can afflict water heater systems start off subtly, making it unlikely that you’ll detect them in a timely fashion. By the time you do notice an issue with the system, it will often be too late to prevent the majority of the damage.
The only hope for catching a lot of these issues in time to prevent most of the damage is to proactively look for them. That means scheduling preventive maintenance at least once a year. During maintenance, we’ll look for a variety of possible water heater issues, including:
- Scaling–this is the collection of hard water minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron that can coat the heat exchanger components, making it harder for the water heater to do its job.
- A rusted-through anode rod–this component is responsible for absorbing corrosion so that the lining of your water heater tank doesn’t.
- Leaks–In some cases, a leaky water heater means that the water heater should be replaced. However, if the leak is coming from somewhere like the pressure relief valve, this tends to be an easy fix for our team.
During your water heater tune-up, your technician will check the entire system to identify potential problem areas. Any problems that are already developing, or weak areas that may soon develop problems, can be dealt with then and there. This can save you a significant amount of money on repair costs over the lifespan of your system. You only reap those benefits, though, if you schedule the maintenance on a regular basis.
Water heater systems don’t really have seasons of more or less use, like HVAC systems do. So, it’s not as important that you schedule maintenance during a specific season as it is that you schedule it consistently every year. If you haven’t scheduled maintenance in over a year, make sure that you do so as soon as possible.
More About Scaling
We briefly mentioned scaling above, but do you know why it’s so bad for your water heater and the rest of your plumbing system? Scaling is the buildup of minerals that are harmless to us but can cause clogs and corrosion within your plumbing system.
The best way to avoid problems with scaling is actually with the installation of a whole-home water softener. Your water heater will, of course, still require annual maintenance. However, with a water softener, you can at least prevent one common repair issue your water heater faces!