Corrosion Strikes Again! By G.K. Lamb and The Arizona Waterman
Your water heater has been hard at work for you and your home since you unlocked the front door for the first time. Tucked away in your garage, it hums along silently keeping you stocked with hot water at all times of the day or night. Out of sight. Out of mind. What could possibly go wrong?
As the years go by, you notice that water takes longer to get hot and starts to run out sooner. Then one day, your mother-in-law comes to visit, and she runs out of hot water halfway through her shower. Determined not to hear about it for another year, you resolve yourself to fix the problem. Moving aside boxes of Christmas decorations, you clear a path to your water heater for the first time in six months (or six years). And there it is, looking just as it always has. “It looks brand new,” you say to yourself. But looks can be deceiving.
In the last decade, your water heater has been working tirelessly with little or no maintenance; on the outside, it might look brand new, but on the inside ten years of corrosion and sediment fills the tank leaching itself into your water and making the unit less efficient. You’re desperate to fix it, but it’s too late. The damage has been done, and it’s time for a new, modern system.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. With regular maintenance, your water heater can last longer, run more economically, and keep your water cleaner. How? There are three items that need to be addressed: One, the sacrificial anode rod. Two, sediment build up. And three, a water treatment system.
Your water heater’s anode rod is vital for prolonging the longevity of your tank and keeping your water safe to drink. It attracts particles in the water that cause corrosion, keeping your tank from rusting. Over time the rod will get eaten away by the corrosive particles in your water and it will need to be replaced. Changing it out once every two to three years can double the lifespan of your water heater. It’s a straightforward fix that can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Next is sediment build up; living in the Old Pueblo, we are no strangers to the ravages of hard water. Just like your showerhead, calcium, and other deposits build up inside your tank. This makes the water take longer to heat up, and it also reduces the volume of water in your tank. Taking an hour once a year to drain and flush your water heater will keep sediment levels low, keep it running efficiently, and most importantly of all, ensure that your entire shower is hot.
But what if you want to extend the life of your water heater even more? A whole house water treatment system could be a wise long-term investment. By removing heavy elements and dissolved solids from your water before they have a chance to build up in the bottom of your tank, gum-up your showerhead, or generally wreak havoc with your appliances, you will save yourself time, money, and headaches down the road. Isn’t it about time you checked on your water heater?