Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Extended Lifespan

Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Extended Lifespan

A well-maintained water heater can last anywhere from 8 to 12 years or more, while one that hasn't been properly cared for can fail in as little as 5 years. Regular maintenance can save you money on both energy bills and repairs, and it's worth the investment in extending the lifespan of your water heater. Here are some water heater maintenance tips you can use to extend its lifespan and keep it running efficiently.

Drain the Tank Annually

Sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. Draining the tank annually can help to remove any sediment and reduce the likelihood of rust and corrosion, which are common causes of leaks and failures. To drain the tank, turn off the power or gas supply, connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, and let it drain until it runs clear.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a sacrificial metal part that's designed to corrode over time so that the tank won't. A corroded anode rod will need to be replaced in order to protect the water heater tank from rust and corrosion. Check your anode rod every 2-3 years, and replace it if it's less than ½ inch thick. If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, call in a professional plumber.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve is a safety device that's designed to release pressure if the pressure inside the tank becomes too high. Testing the valve annually can help to ensure that it's working as it's supposed to. To test the valve, turn the power or gas off to the water heater, lift the lever on the valve, and listen for the sound of air or water coming out. If it doesn't release any air or water, it needs to be replaced.

Insulate the Tank

An insulated water heater tank can save you money on energy bills by reducing heat loss. If your water heater is warm to the touch, it needs to be insulated. Insulating the tank is an easy DIY project that can be completed with a water heater blanket or wrap. Just be sure to leave access to the controls and the drain valve.

Call in a Professional Plumber for Regular Maintenance

For best results, call in a professional plumber for regular maintenance. They can perform more detailed inspections and cleaning, and can also offer recommendations for any improvements that can be made to maximize the lifespan of your water heater.


Taking care of your water heater isn't difficult, but it does require some effort. Regular maintenance is key to extending its lifespan and keeping it running efficiently. By following these water heater maintenance tips, you can save money on energy bills and prolong the life of your water heater. If you need help with maintenance or repairs, don't hesitate to contact a professional plumber.