Your trusty ol’ water heater is one of those home comfort systems you don’t give much thought to— until your water runs cold or your energy bill hits a new high!

And we get it. Your water heater is probably tucked away behind the closed doors of a closet or cabinet, in a dark and dusty corner of your garage, basement, or utility room. It’s easy to overlook and underestimate.

That’s why today we’re sharing three easy maintenance tips for Omaha homeowners that will improve your performance, extend the life of your system, and help you avoid a sooner-than-necessary water heater replacement! Because just an hour or two of maintenance is a whole lot easier (and more wallet-friendly!) than a whole new system.

Our Top Water Heater Tips

Water Heater Maintenance Tip #1: Flush your system

Did you see our homeowner hack, How (and when!) to Flush Your Water Heater? If so, you know just how important it is to clear the sediment out of your water heater’s tank annually or quarterly. The more these sediment and mineral deposits build up in your system, the harder it has to work to maintain the water’s temperature. And the sooner you’ll need a water heater replacement!

For a full tutorial on handling this DIY home maintenance task, check out our video here, or our how-to post here.

Whether you flush your water heater or call Burton to service your system, we recommend tackling this task at least once per year. If you have hard water (as several Omaha-area communities do) you’ll probably need to flush your tank more frequently.

Water Heater Maintenance Tip #2: Check your anode rod

The anode rod is a small, slender metal rod that hangs in your water heater’s tank. It’s usually made out of magnesium or aluminum. Like a lightning rod, your anode rod is a powerful attractor. It continually pulls in corrosive elements from the water stored in your tank, protecting the tank’s interior from rust and decay.

This small but mighty rod slowly disintegrates as the corrosive materials eat away at the metal. That’s why we recommend every homeowner inspect their anode rod annually and replace it every few years.

Water Heater Maintenance Tip #3: Inspect (or install!) your water heater insulation

The third best way to extend the life of your system— and delay your water heater replacement— is to insulate your water heater and piping.

Did you know about 20% of your home’s energy goes to water heating? And exposed pipes can reduce your water temperature by as much as 4°F! That means just a little insulation can significantly reduce your energy usage— and even allow you to drop your water heater’s set-point temperature without sacrificing comfort.

To insulate your water heater, you can purchase a pre-cut insulation blanket or jacket from your local home improvement store. Just wrap the insulation around your water heater and secure it with the provided fasteners. Be sure to leave the top, bottom, and access panels uncovered for ventilation and easy access to controls.

You can easily insulate your pipes using foam insulation sleeves with peel-off adhesive edges. Just cut the sleeve to length, slide it over your exposed hot water pipe, and stick the foam cover into place.

For water heater replacement, repairs, and maintenance in Omaha & Council Bluffs, Just Call Burton!

Looking for upfront pricing, industry-leading warranties, and 5-star customer service? Burton’s expert home plumbers deliver! We’re proud to serve residential customers in Omaha, NE, and the surrounding communities, including Council Bluffs, Gretna, Bellevue, Crescent, Bennington, Papillon, Underwood, and more. Contact us at (402) 343-0011 or send us a message. And don’t forget to ask about our seasonal promotions!