The typical lifespan of a water heater is between 8 – 12 years. There are some cases though that a water heater will last 15 – 20 years. This is fair enough when you have properly maintained your unit. These days, most tanks are steel lined with either glass or porcelain to help give them heating insulation. This material will oxidize and deteriorate over time, which, in most cases, will make the unit leak. This makes it a good idea to know where the water shut off valve is placed. However, with regular maintenance, you are not only ensuring that your storage tank water heater is always in good working condition, but you are also assured that it will last for many years to come. Below are some ways on how to extend the life of your storage tank water heaters:
Cleaning Your Tank – this is important especially for old tanks. Cleaning your tank on a yearly basis will help to prevent sediments from building up inside. This will not only help to make your tank more efficient, but it will also make your tank last longer. You no longer have to worry about this with newer model water heaters though as they are self cleaning.
Pressure Regulating Valve (PRV) – it is essential to have a PRV installed in your unit, especially if your water pressure reaches above 90 PSI. This is because the high water pressure can potentially damage your equipment and many adjacent materials should your water heater fail prematurely. This type of catastrophic failure can be very dangerous which is why a PRV is very important as this helps to reduce the unit’s pressure and reduce the wear on the tank itself.
Water Softeners – there are many areas all over the world that have high mineral content which contributes to hard water that gets deposited on the sides and surface of a container. Hard water can greatly reduce the life span and efficiency of a water heater. However, the use of a water softener will help to neutralize the mineral content in the water to reduce the mineral deposits on the plumbing system brought about by the hard water.
Expansion Tank – if you are using a closed system, having an expansion tank can help to double the life of your water heater. This is because when water is heated, it expands by approximately 2 percent. This means that a 50 gallon will expand by a gallon of added volume. With an expansion tank, the stress on the tank itself is greatly reduced thereby expanding the life of your tank.