Your water heating system is only as good as the level of attention you give it. Heaters can serve you for many years. However, during this time they'll have to survive a lot of issues ranging from scale buildup, rust or even physical damage.
If your water heater is not properly maintained on a regular basis, it will not reach its full potential in terms of its lifespan. A good approach is to have a checklist of maintenance activities that need to be done and when they should be done. There are certain activities that shouldn't miss from such a checklist.
Ensure the Water Pressure Doesn't Exceed Recommendation
A higher than recommended water pressure is one of the most serious problems you could have with a water heating system. A high water pressure increases the risk of a tank explosion which can have catastrophic consequences for you and your home. Ensure you water pressure remains below the recommended limit, otherwise, you should install a pressure reducing valve.
Reduce the Water Pressure
Even if the pressure limit for your heater is high, you should still reduce it to around 50 to 60 psi. This is to protect your appliances. Very high water pressure isn't good for certain appliances and features in your home including dishwashers, washing machines and toilet valves.
Check the Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is one of the most important safety features in your water heating system. Even if you've set your maximum pressure well within the recommended limits, there is always a possibility that a malfunction will cause the pressure within the tank to be exceeded. In cases such as this, the pressure relief valve is supposed to automatically open to release some of the steam and relieve the pressure.
However, if this valve is damaged or just stuck due to a dirt buildup, you could be in trouble. You should always inspect this valve to ensure it's still working as required.
Drain the Tank
Several times each year, you should drain your heater tank to get rid of scale buildup and other debris that usually accumulates at the bottom of the tank. This debris can accelerate the deterioration of the heating system over time. It can also cause clogging of pipes and damage your appliances if it finds its way through the system. Drain the tank until the water that's coming out is clear.
Contact a plumbing service for more help.