Your water heater has an ideal lifespan of a bout 25 years, but due to owner’s neglect, usually need to be replaced within 10 years. However, with the proper maintenance, the right checklist, and a thorough inspection, you could have your water heater in excellent health for years to come. Below is a basic checklist for inspecting your water heater.
1.) Take note of the manufacture date and capacity. Make sure to post the information in an easy to see area for future inspections and potential emergencies.
2.) Is there any indication of rust or corrosion? If so, note the area that the rust occurs and contact a professional. If caught early enough, it can usually be repaired for minimal cost and time.
3.) Check to see that the main water line is leak free. If a leak is evident, note how large it is and see if you can’t repair it yourself. If you’re uncomfortable with messing around with the water lines, there’s no shame in contacting a someone with more experience.
4.) Check water temperature setting. If it appears too warm, then lowering it is probably a good idea, and vice versa. However, the temperature gauge should never be set above 130°F.
5) Identify any leaks. Leaks could spring virtually anywhere in the water heater, but the ones you, as a homeowner, should be concerned with are the visible ones.
Remember, you should never have to move your water heater to inspect it; leave that to the professionals. If you notice any abnormalities, leaks, dents, rusting, incorrect valve pressure, or cracks, be sure to contact a professional to have it checked out. The sooner you identify issues and get them fixed, the better. Leaving issues to the last minute can create big problems for your hot water situation, and could potentially cost you hundreds of dollars is left unchecked.
In addition to checking you water heater periodically, you should schedule to have a professional come in at least twice a year to look in the hard to reach places. Things like internal leaks, cracks, and other complications should be looked at by your local water heater specialist.