A traditional tank-style water heater has a lifespan of around 8-10 years. Depending on how much use it has had over that time and whether it has been properly maintained, it may last significantly longer or need replacement a lot sooner. So how do you know when it's time for a new water heater?
Many people purchase a conventional tank water heater and simply forget about it until it stops working and it's time to replace it. However, with a few simple water heater maintenance steps you can increase the lifespan of the unit while also making it work more efficiently.
Almost all water heater manufacturers will recommend flushing the water heater tank annually. Draining the tank will remove the sediment that has collected at the bottom of the tank which will allow the burner to work more efficiently. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the correct procedure for draining your model of water heater.
The anode rod hangs in the tank to help prevent its inside from rusting out. It should be checked annually when the tank is drained. Replacing a badly corroded rod is far cheaper than replacing the water heater.
Without a good anode rod, hot water will rapidly corrode the inside of the tank, shortening its life.
This is a step you only have to do once. Wrapping your water heater in a blanket of insulation can improve it's efficiency up to 40 percent.
Have questions about maintaining your water heater? Call the experts at MR Plumbing, we're here to help.
With an aging power infrastructure and increasing severe weather related to climate change, many Chicago area homeowners are discovering the benefits of a standby generators to keep their homes safe and comfortable during prolonged periods without power.
Today's backup generators are quiet, efficient and reliable. They offer the convenience of auto start and practically indefinite run time. When the power fails, a standby generator switches on - automatically - powering your home 24/7. With a standby generator you can maintain everyday necessities like heating, cooling, refrigeration and lighting and more.
A portable generator needs to be rolled out from the storage, filled with gas or hooked up to a natural gas line, manually started, and connected to your loads. In contrast, a permanent generator starts automatically because it's connected to both the house wiring and your home's gas line. It can detect a power outage, isolate your designated circuits from the grid, and start powering your home instantly.
Whole house standby generators offer power levels greater than portable generators, ranging from 5 kilowatts up into hundreds of kilowatts. This makes them a good choice for sustained power outages. While the initial cost of a permanent generator is higher than a portable generator, a whole house generator will increase your home's value.
When the power is restored, portable generators need to be turned off manually. A permanent generator will connect you back to the utility power and turn itself off automatically. You don't even have to be home.
This recent installation of a Kohler natural gas standby generator shows how clean and compact today's home generators are. Like a central air conditioner they are installed on a slab near the utility hook up and take up very little space.
Aside from wattage, consider the duration of time you may need emergency power and the fuel source. By selecting which appliances and lighting you want to maintain during a power outage, you can estimate the power requirements of the backup circuits and select a generator that will maintain the wattage for your needs.
Residential generators can run on both natural gas and LP (propane). Your installer will do a simple field adjustment to convert the unit to your available fuel source. A whole house generator will be permanently installed in a location that provides easy access to your home's electric and fuel supply and that minimizes the risk of exhaust fumes entering the home.
Have backup power generator questions? The experts at M/R Plumbing can help you select the best residential generator to fit your family's needs.