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What Actually Happens During Water Heater Maintenance?

Your water heater has one of the most important jobs in your home: allowing you to enjoy a warm shower, wash dishes, wash clothes, and more. You may not realize it, but you should schedule routine water heater maintenance annually to keep it running at its best. 

If you still have the manufacturer’s manual included during installation, you can read more about the expected maintenance for your particular water heater. If you’ve never heard of water heater maintenance, you may be wondering what actually happens during water heater maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about this important service for your home.

What to Expect During Water Heater Maintenance

While there are a variety of different water tanks for residential water heaters, they all work similarly. No matter what type of tank you have—gas or electric—you can expect the appointment to include these common services. If you have a tankless water heater, maintenance is equally important, although you may not need the service as often as you do with a tank. 

Flushing Sediment 

Your water tank holds water all day, year-round to keep it warm for when you need it. Your tank empties and refills as you use hot water throughout the day. If your home’s water source has hard water, sediment can build up in the bottom of your water heater. 

If you have hard water, that simply means that your water has high mineral content. These mineral particles are small enough that you can’t see them with the naked eye, but over time the small particles settle in your water tank and create a layer that blocks heating elements or the heat exchanger from effectively heating your water.

Anode Rod Replacement

Your water heater has an anode rod that protects it from rust over time by dissolving in the water. Once the anode rod dissolves completely, it needs to be replaced. Without the anode rod, your water heater will begin to rust and wear down faster than it should. Your anode rod needs to be changed every three to five years, depending on your individual water use and water quality. 

Checking Connections

Another important step in water heater maintenance is making sure that all of the connections are secure. Over time your plumbing connections, gas lines, and even electrical work can wear down. When we check your water tank, we will also check all of the related connections. If anything needs repair or replacement, we will address those things during the appointment. 

Benefits of Water Heater Maintenance 

When you skip water heater maintenance, your water quality can suffer. Your water may not get as hot or your water heater may use more energy to heat your water to the desired temperature. Investing in water heater maintenance annually means that your water will be cleaner and healthier and that your water heater will work at the best possible efficiency. It can also extend the life of your water heater so that it lasts for longer before needing to be replaced. 

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