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Three important guidelines for maintaining your water heater

Recently, our Rosie-certified plumber, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, circulated a story about a boiler that blew up, destroying a family’s playroom and rocking the whole house.

Luckily, the family wasn’t hurt. Boilers aren’t common in the Southwest, but water heaters certainly are and if they aren’t regularly maintained, they can have just as devastating of an effect.

The abundance of hard water we have here in the Southwest is the primary troublemaker with water heaters and one reason they need to be maintained regularly. Over time, hard water deposits large quantities of calcium in the bottom of the water heater tank. This build up, combined with other gunk that may start to collect at the bottom of the tank, is why we recommend flushing your water heater once a year.

The steps to doing this yourself are fairly straight forward, but before you take this project on, you should evaluate these three guidelines:

1. Is your water heater less than 4 years old?

If the answer is yes, then it’s probably not too late to begin flushing your water heater on an annual basis. This will keep calcium and sediment from building up inside the tank and keep it running as efficiently as possible.

2. Is your water heater between 4-10 years old?

If your water heater falls into this age range, you’re better off leaving it be, as draining it could stir up some trouble and probably clog lines. If you believe you’re having issues with its operation, call one of our Rosie-certified plumbers, or call into Saturday morning’s broadcast and we can talk you through what to do next.

3. Is your water heater 10 years old or older?

If so, then it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. A water heater can last longer than 10 years, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it. Once a water heater reaches 10 years old it’s efficiency can diminish by more than 50 percent. Replacing it now, rather than repairing it, can save you more money in the long run.

You can find more advice and do-it-yourself tips, for your house, home, castle or cabin, at every Arizona homeowner’s best friend, RosieontheHouse.com And, if you’re looking for the very best contractor or service provider for your home improvement projects, always trust a Rosie-Certified Partner, Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Be sure to tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!