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Tips to Keep Your Water Heater in Good Shape 

man with a baby
man with a baby
man with a baby

Learn how to diagnose, and solve, problems with your water heater.

Your water heater is an indispensable tool. Any time you turn on the faucet, you can expect warm water for washing hands, cleaning dishes and laundering clothes. But, like any household appliance, your water heater requires some preventive care, regular upkeep, and annual maintenance to keep it running.

Here are some simple steps to prevent big problems and reap big benefits. 

  • Do an annual drain and flush. You want to empty the tank so sediment doesn't accumulate in the bottom. If you don't, the scale (or lime) in the water can build up and solidify, which can lead the heater to lose efficiency or even cause the glass lining inside to crack.
  • Set the right temperature. You may be tempted to increase the temperature on your water heater in hopes of getting the water to heat up faster. However, plumbers never set a water heater above 120° F for safety reasons. At 120° F, it only takes fifteen seconds to scald, and at 135° F, water will scald in five seconds!
  • Keep things safe. A water heater should always be professionally installed. If the heater is not adequately vented, if safety valves aren't working right, or if the installation is not up to code, results can be catastrophic.
  • Have your water heater's anode rod regularly checked by a plumber. An anode rod is screwed into the top of your water heater. All the bad contaminants in your water are attracted to that anode rod, and it will disintegrate after a number of years. Once it does disintegrate, the rod needs to be replaced - otherwise, the internal lining of your tank can rust.
  • Know how to spot problems. If your water heater makes a popping sound, that means the scale is building up and solidifying, causing the water heater to lose efficiency. Leakage from the bottom of the tank is another warning your heater needs to be replaced. Your average water heater lasts an average of six to twelve years, but with regular maintenance, you can extend its life by up to two years.

Not quite sure where to begin? Consider a Protection Plan like our Plumbing Repair and Maintenance Plan and Water Heater Repair Plus Plan, which includes an inspection of your home's plumbing system and water heater. Our pre-screened, licensed, and insured network of plumbers are trained to identify potential problems, reducing the chance of untimely or costly failures. 


Browse our protection plans

Our plans give you lots of options, so you can get just what you need for your home without paying for coverage you don't need.

Terms and conditions contained in the protection plans may limit our contract obligations due to coverage caps, coverage exclusions, and our cash back offer. View plan details for more information.

*Repair claims are limited to $500 per service call and $2,000 per plan in the aggregate per plan term. Plans are provided by NRG Protects Inc. Independent contractors will be performing various services under the plans. In some instances we may make a cash payment in lieu of repairs or replacement in the amount of actual cost, which may be less than retail, to repair or replace any covered system, component, or appliance.

**If your authorized repair technician determines that the water heater is deemed irreparable, we will give you a credit of $500 towards a replacement water heater by your authorized repair technician.

Once repair plans commence, there is a 30-day waiting period before you may request services for a claim. Unless the plan provider elects not to renew the plan, upon expiration of the first year, the plan will automatically renew at the standard rate and terms unless you opt out of the auto-renewal option in writing by mail at P.O. Box 2309, Houston, TX 77252- 2309, by email at or by calling us at 1.855.241.9094. Sales tax will be added in select states.

This is a summary of what the provider will and will not cover under the plan, and is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the plan. The Terms and Conditions may limit the provider's contractual obligations due to coverage caps, coverage exclusions and any cash-back option available under the plan. Please refer to the Sample Terms & Conditions for details.