I’ve always been told that if you drain a couple of gallons of water off the bottom your water heater it will keep the sediment from building up and prolong the life of your water heater.This may be true, but there is another maintenance/service that could extend the life of your water heater beyond what we see here in the salt lake area.
For water heaters in the Salt lake area we see an average life expectancy of around 12-13 years.In my opinion if a home owner maintained a water heater by draining 4 to 5 gallons of water off the bottom of the water heater every 6 months and changing the anode rod every 6 years he/she could extend that life up to double the average life expectancy.
Inside water heaters there is a part called an anode rod.Anode rods are installed in water heaters to protect the water heater from electrolysis.Anode rods sacrifice its self over time protecting the steel tank of the water heater. Most anode rods have a life expectance of about 5-6 years.Most water heater tanks that fail typically fail because the anode rod has deteriorated and the electrolysis action has began attacking the glass lining manufactures spray inside the steel tank. Once the glass lining has been compromised the steel tank will fail in a matter of time.
Aluminum and zinc anode rods, in my opinion, are the best.Aluminum will likely last the longest and zinc will help control the sulfur smell that can come from hard water.
So the next time you’re puttering around on the weekend.Show your water heater some love and drain a few gallons off the bottom.Most water heaters will have a date code in the serial #.This will help you estimate its age.Chances are you may find our sticker on your water heater. If not, call us to help you out.