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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Do Water Heaters Need Annual Maintenance?

Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: Yes, absolutely!

We hope this is enough for you to reach out to us to schedule water heater maintenance—especially if it’s something you have never had done before. But if you want to hang around for a bit longer, we’ll give you a more in-depth explanation about the importance of water heater maintenance.

A water heater is one of the hardest working appliances in your home

Heating systems consume large amounts of power, and a water heater works all around the year, unlike a furnace that only needs to run during the fall and winter. Furnaces require annual maintenance to keep them running safely, in peak condition, and with few malfunctions. When you consider how much more a water heater needs to run compared to a furnace, you’ll see why scheduling routine maintenance inspections and tune-ups is so critical. 

Stopping the effects of water vs. a water heater

One of the vital reasons for routine water heater maintenance is to slow down the effect of water on the unit. Water is a destructive force for any appliance, even with the best precautions. The biggest concern with a water heater is that contact with water will lead to corrosion. Once a water heater starts to corrode, it usually needs a full replacement. Although water heaters are built with defenses against corrosion, these won’t mean much if the unit isn’t routinely cleaned and tuned-up: rust and other types of corrosion will get a hold much earlier.

An essential part of a storage tank water heater’s defense against corrosion is the sacrificial anode rod. This rod attracts corrosion so it won’t affect the rest of the unit, but it needs replacement every few years or it will corrode completely through and stop doing its job. Maintenance technicians always check on the anode rod to see if it’s time to replace it. 

Routine tank flushes

Another important step in maintenance is flushing out the tank. Storage tank water heaters need this service every few years to remove build-up of sediment and limescale inside the tank that happens naturally from minerals in the water supply. Without regular flushing, a water heater will lose energy efficiency and may be in danger of overheating. Professionals can easily flush the tank during maintenance to help extend the service life of the water heater. 

Checking for water pressure issues and other problems

Maintenance gives expert technicians the opportunity to give a water heater a close inspection to locate other issues that might be building. For example, checking the water pressure in the tank. Rising water pressure damages the water heater and will often lead to leaking. Technicians check for other potential problems, such as with the gas lines and the circulator pump. 

This all applies to tankless water heaters as well

If you have a tankless water heater, it also requires annual maintenance. These types of water heaters require special attention and cleaning to avoid clogs that can occur from sediment. You want to get the best service life possible from a tankless water heater—their longevity is one of their biggest advantages—and maintenance helps make this happen.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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