Your water heater needs routine maintenance to operate at peak performance which includes flushing your water heater at least once a year. Some homeowners with higher levels of mineral deposits or a higher usage of hot water may need to flush the heater more often. Annual water heater flushes are recommended by most water heater manufacturers. If your water heater isn’t properly maintained, it eventually gets past the point where maintenance is possible.
When your water heater stops producing hot water it could be a faulty burner or a large amount of sediment build-up.Funny Smells
Odors coming from your hot water could be a sign of bacteria in your tank.Strange Noises
Loud noises inside your water heater tank are a common sign of sediment buildup. When the particles of calcium and dirt rustle as the water heats, they can bang against the sides of your water heater.Rust Colored Water
If you see rust-colored water when you turn on the water, the metal pole in the top of the unit, your anode rod, needs to be replaced.
Over time your water heater collects the elements that enter your home through your main water inlet. Dirt, minerals, and other sediments. They ultimately end up at the bottom of your water heater tank which is the location of the heating element. Allowing the sediment to build up not only causes your water heater to work harder but can lead to some serious problems. Things like pipe bursting, loss of water pressure, and the obvious breakdown of the tank itself typically occur between two to five years of neglect. When your water heater bursts it can cause some serious water damage to your home.
Tankless water heaters don’t hold as much water, but they still build up sediment and you should have maintenance and cleaning performed on an annual basis.
If annual maintenance hasn’t been performed, there can be up to 1/8” of scale buildup on the heating elements. Flushing the water heater once buildup has accumulated may not be effective or helpful. After several years of neglect of not removing the dirt, minerals, and other sediments, it may not be possible to drain the water heater safely without causing damage. Once you dislodge the sediment, you drain it, the water heater will spring a leak.
If you consider yourself as handy, you can get complete instructions on the web on how to drain your water heater. There are hundreds of links and videos that can walk you through the process. Tankless water heaters should also be flushed, and a pump is required to circulate water through the system.