Have you ever noticed water spots on your spoons, forks and glasses after washing them, or had trouble getting a lather from your soap or shampoo? These could be signs that you have “hard” water – water that contains a higher-than-average amount of minerals (water can be hard and still fall within local, regional, and federal water quality guidelines).
Unfortunately, hard water can cause bigger problems than simple stains on your barware: eventually, it can damage one of your home comfort workhorses: your water heater. The good news is with a little preventive care, you can keep hard water from eating away at your hot water storage tank.
Here are four things you can do to prevent hard water from shortening the life of your traditional tank water heater:
Minerals will eventually gather as sediment at the bottom of your water heater’s storage tank; to counter this mineral accumulation, you need to flush your tank (or install a tankless water heater.) Ideally, you would do this at least twice a year. There is no need to shut off your gas to flush your tank…simply follow these steps:
An anode rod – a steel core wire surrounded with either aluminum, magnesium or zinc that mounts to the top of your heater – “takes one for the team” by drawing the corrosion process to itself rather than the tank lining (the anode rod is often referred to as the “sacrificial rod” for this reason).
A typical anode rod will last about five (5) years depending on the volume of water that circulates through the tank; if you use a water softener, that window shrinks considerably. Once your anode rod is depleted, your tank will rot much faster – and since replacing an anode rod is a lot cheaper than replacing your tank, it’s best to stay on top of the problem with routine maintenance and expert equipment checks.
Checking your anode rod takes a few minutes – see your water heater owner’s manual for details or call us – we’ll do it for you.
Like any other home comfort equipment, your water heater will run best when it’s professionally serviced regularly – usually once every two years, in the case of a water heater.
Of course, even if you take all these precautions, your propane water heater will eventually need to be replaced – typically about once every 10 years for a conventional, storage-type water heater. When that time comes, contact us – we’ll have a new high-efficiency propane water heater installed quickly and correctly, with no need for follow-up hassles.
For expert propane water heater installation in northern New Jersey, trust the pros at Fredericks Fuel & Heating Service. Contact us today to learn more.