How to Get the Most Out of Your Water Heater

South County PlumbingThe average water heater lasts about 8 to 12 years. For the optimum lifespan, keep up with regular maintenance. Else you may find yourself calling an emergency plumber because the water heater broke down far short of its average life expectancy.

Set the Temperature

The lower the temperature, the less power is needed. Most water heaters have a default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, your home shouldn’t have any trouble getting by with the temperature set at 120. In addition to giving your heater a break, the lower temperature also reduces energy usage and prevents burns from scalding water.


Improve the unit’s efficiency by adding insulation. An insulation jacket can be acquired inexpensively at your local hardware store, though you should contact a residential plumber for proper installation.

Flush the System

Flushing the water heater helps eliminate sediment buildup. Check the unit’s user manual to determine flushing intervals, which is typically once every one to three years.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a thin vertical tube above the unit. With the tank drained, unscrew the rod and inspect it closely. If there’s extensive calcium buildup or the rod is worn to less than ½ inch thick, it needs to be replaced.

Replace the Unit

Water heaters aren’t designed to last forever. This is an appliance that never rests; sooner or later it will decline in performance. If you had the heater for more than 12 years, then it’s definitely time to consider swapping out the unit for a newer model.

Annual inspections from a residential and commercial plumber will prevent unexpected malfunctions. It won’t keep your water heater alive forever, but it will ensure that it performs at its peak and reaches its maximum lifespan before going out for good. Call South County Plumbing today for water heater service, repair or replacement in Everett, Lynnwood & Snohomish.

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Edited by Justin Vorhees