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How To Avoid Water Heater Failure

water heater repair massachusettsWater heater failure is one of the top five sources of residential water damage, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. The damage is costly, too, with the average failure clocking in at more than $4,400 in damage per incident after the deductible is paid.

Water Heater Care: 5 Steps

The good news is that while water heater failure is a common issue, you can help prevent problems by taking these five steps:

  1. Check your water heater’s age. If your water heater reaches its life expectancy (an average of 10 to 12 years for a typical storage-type water heater), the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases markedly. Once your equipment moves into its second decade, pay particularly close attention for warning signs (see #5 below), including rising water heating bills. At that age, replacing your water heater is usually a smarter move than repairing it.

    Don’t know how old your water heater is? Check out this video to learn how to determine its age.

  2. Keep an eye on your anode rod. A “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in water heaters to prevent tank corrosion (the rod draws corrosive elements in the water to itself, diverting them away from the steel tank liner). Have your anode rod inspected once every two years during the warranty period, and at least annually once the warranty expires.
  3. Flush your tank regularly. Routine water heater maintenance should include two tank flushes per year to remove sediment. Most water heaters can be easily flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater (just remember that water in your storage tank is HOT! Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before you try to flush the tank).
  4. Have your water heater professionally inspected annually. Nothing can replace the skilled eyes and experience of a plumbing professional when it comes to spotting water heater problems early. Have a professional check out the shut-off valve and all piping annually; broken valves and loose or wet joints are warning signs that more severe damage is coming.
  5. Replace your water heater proactively. Don’t wait for disaster to replace your water heater. If it’s more than 10 years old and you spot any of the classic water heater warning signs – leaks, rusty water, noises, an increase in water spots on glassware, higher bills, etc. – make the switch. You’ll get better performance, lower bills, and more peace of mind.

Considering a water heater replacement this winter? We can help! We offer COMPLETE water heater installation in Middlesex and Norfolk counties, along with ongoing maintenance service to keep your equipment running reliably year after year. Contact Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling today to learn more about water heater installation and service in MA!