Maximize the life of your water heater!

Maximize the life of a water heater with proactive maintenance

South West Plumbing provides tips for prolonging the life of a water heater

SEATTLE — July 5, 2021 — South West Plumbing, Seattle’s leading provider of plumbing services, encourages homeowners to take initiative when it comes to their water heaters. Maintaining the unit properly will help prevent the hassle of major repairs or replacements down the road.

“Water heaters will generally last between eight to 10 years if properly maintained,” said Collin Hathaway, owner of South West Plumbing. “Getting a jump on water heater maintenance will help guarantee the unit reaches its maximum lifespan and prevents you from having to purchase a new one prematurely.”

Hathaway said draining the water heater tank creates a great opportunity to help extend the unit’s life. Sediment builds up in the bottom of the unit and can shorten the life of the water heater. Typically, draining two to three gallons of water will help flush out any built-up sediment. This helps the unit heat more efficiently as well.

Hathaway also recommends homeowners test the pressure relief valve on the unit. This can easily be done by placing a bucket below the discharge pipe of the water heater tank and gently lifting the lever on the valve. If the valve doesn’t release water, it may be time to replace the valve. This is an important test because if too much pressure builds up inside the tank, it could become a safety hazard.

Checking the element, or anode rod, will also help extend the life of a water heater. Inspecting the element at least once every three years can help minimize the chances of a leak.

“It is easier to stay ahead of problems that are associated with water heaters than replacing the entire unit,” Hathaway said. “Extending the life of your water heater doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Regularly performing tasks, such as draining the tank or testing the pressure relief valve, can help improve efficiency while also allowing the unit to reach its maximum lifespan.”

While the aforementioned tips will help homeowners extend the life of their unit, Hathaway also notes that if the water heater is older than 10 years, the unit may have reached the end of its peak efficiency. At that point, homeowners should consider purchasing a new unit.

For more information about water heater maintenance or other plumbing matters, visit

About South West Plumbing
South West Plumbing was started over 35 years ago by Bill and Connie Buckingham out of their home with just one truck. All South West Plumbing plumbers and technicians are certified and come prepared with fully-stocked trucks that have everything they need to do the job right. We have friendly, professional, and uniformed technicians that are trained on an ongoing basis to ensure that they can perform your plumbing service with both precision and accuracy. We are the plumbing service company YOU can count on. For more information, visit