By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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Water heaters have changed a lot over the years due to government mandates to increase the efficiency of these units.  Due to the increased cost of the water heaters from these improvements, changing of the water heaters is more expensive than they used to be.  It used to be that changing of a water heater was reasonable enough that maintaining them didn’t prove to be worth the cost.  That is the past, now we need to maintain them better.  Here are a few tips to help increase the life of your existing water heater as much as possible on your part.  We will list both standard storage tank models (traditional type) and tank less models.


1-     Make sure the tank is sized properly for the home use.  If this is not

excessive condensate could form and corrode the tank producing

premature failure.

2-     Change the anode rod every 3-4 years.  This rod is a sacrificial part included in the tank on original manufacturing to help aggressive water and minerals from attacking the tank and creating premature failure of the tank.

3-     Make sure you have an approved properly sized expansion tank or an expansion valve on the water heater to handle increased pressure during the water heating process.

4-     Drain and flush the heater annually or more often if desired and possible to remove sediment allowing proper heating with out longer than necessary cycles.

Those are the big ones for the storage tank style with the most important at the top and in descending order of critical need.


1-      Make sure your installation is correct regarding venting,

combustion air and gas.

2-      Have your heat exchanger cleaned of deposits annually as per the

manufacturers recommended procedures.  This will allow the heater to heat water with creating restrictions.

3-      Have the unit checked annually during the cleaning for proper

function and flow.

Most all water heaters will now require some attention and should be performed by a plumbing professional.  

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