image of a water heater being drained

How To Save Money With Water Heater Maintenance

If your water heater ever failed, you already know that this is an appliance that you cannot live without. But what you might not know is that many small tips can help you extend the life of your home’s water heater and save a little bit on money at the same time.

The Value Of Water Heater Maintenance

The life of the average conventional water heater is between 10 and 12 years. But that could be substantially shorter if you are not providing the small amount of care that this essential piece of equipment needs. Eliminating minerals and sediment inside the holding tank is a crucial service you can provide for your water heater. The mineral build-up inside the tank will damage and erode the tank wall until one day you discover a tiny drip of water running down the tank. And at that point, it is too late. There is no way to safely and reliably repair a damaged water heater tank.

The process is as simple as turning the unit off, draining the tank, and then flushing it with more water. It takes an hour or two of your time, but it can offer you years of additional service from your water heater. And this is also a great time to test the drain valve and pressure relief valve to ensure that they are working correctly. If you discover a problem, these valves can easily be replaced. But if you let them drip down the outside of the tank, the result will be corrosion and the cost of a new water heater. So think of the time you are investing as a savings of hundreds of dollars. Other Tips To Save More Cash

  • By draining and flushing your water heater, you are going to be decreasing your utility bill each month. That same corrosive sediment also acts as an insulator between the heating element and water in the tank. As the sediment increases, it takes more energy to heat the water, which increases your utility bills. With the sediment gone, your energy cost will decrease as well.
  • If you have your water heater set to the maximum temperature, decreasing that setting by just 10 degrees can drop your energy bill by $5 to $6 a month. And you will still have plenty of hot water for all your household needs.
  • Using cold or warm water for laundry is another way to reduce your energy bill significantly. Modern detergents are now designed to clean equally well in warm or even cold water and reduce delicate clothing shrinkage.
  • Washing your hands in hot water costs you a lot of water and power. It can take several minutes for the hot water to reach the faucet. So all that cold water is wasted. Think of each minute the water runs as a gallon of wasted water. Use the cool water for handwashing to save your time, several gallons of water, and the cost of heating replacement hot water. This tip can save you up to $8 a month on power and water.
  • The average home wastes about 15% of its water consumption through leaks. It could be a dripping faucet, leaks in the supply line to your washing machine or dishwasher, or a drip from the pressure relief valve on your water heater. Invest some time replacing worn-out washers, O-rings, and supply hoses to drop your water bill by 10% to 15% each month.

If you need assistance with water heater service or repairs, call (570) 483-9194. The licensed professionals at Freedom Flow Plumbing will get the job done quickly and affordably.