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Q: My water heater is making funny sounds. Except I’m afraid the reason for the sounds won’t be funny at all. Any ideas?

A: Maybe the funny noises are a cry for help? If water heaters went to therapists they would say, “Nobody appreciates me until I stop working.” We take this appliance for granted. It doesn’toften get our attentionuntil it breaks.

Here’s a couple simple tips to help prolong the life of your water heater.

* Check for scale build up. If you’ve noticed that your hot water flow is decreasing, the problem may be your water heater. The water in West Texas is hard. As in hard as a rock hard. The mineral and sediment in our water is brutal on appliances like water heaters.

Once a month, it’s a good idea to remove the aerators and screens from your sink faucets and make sure there is no sediment build up. Likewise, sediment, corrosion and mineral scale are the three factors that will shorten the life of your water heater. Draining your water heater periodically helps flush out the mineral and sediment in your tank.

Follow the instructions on the owner’s guide for your particular water heater. Be sure to turn off the electricity to the unit before doing the work. If yours is a gas water heater, turn off the gas before beginning the work. It’s a relatively simple process of connecting a garden hose to the drain valve.

* Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Water temps above 120 degrees aren’t practical. It’s too hot for showering or bathing and it takes extra energy to maintain the water at that temperature in the tank.

Water heated at 120 degrees and higher becomes more acidic. That speeds up any corrosion process happening in your tank. By turning your water heater down to 110 degrees, you’ll save money and prolong the life of your water heater.

Again, consult the owner’s manual for your particular model of water heater when adjusting the temperature.

These simple maintenance tips will help your water heater stay on the job for a long time.

The pros at Sinclair are experts in everything plumbing. They will be happy to answer your questions and make recommendations based on your individual situation. Call 806-749-COOL (2665)

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