Being a property manager in Middle Tennessee is filled with crazy cycles. Even with well-maintained, newer homes, there is, unfortunately, a problem with appliances “not being made like they used to.” One week we’ll have several calls about air conditioner problems; the next week there will be a batch of calls about problems with dishwashers. We’ve recently taken on some new rental properties that we discovered issues with water heaters either needing to be replaced or in great need of maintenance. This brings us to this reminder along with some tips for water heater maintenance for rental homes.
Steps for water heater maintenance
- Most people are aware that you should flush the hot water heater at least once a year. The harder the water, the more often you should flush the water heater for the sediment that builds up. Middle Tennessee does have hard water because of the high level of limescale.
- You should also check the water heater periodically for any leaks, drips or signs of corrosion or rust, including on the thermal expansion tanks that are found on water heaters of newer homes.
- In addition, many property owners either do not know or forget about the air filter, which is often a black mesh ring circling the bottom of your water heater. This air filter helps keep dust and other grime from getting into your heater’s heating system. However, dust will build up on this filter, and this reduces the air flow to your heater, creating a less efficient heater since your heater requires air to ‘breathe.’ You should clean the filter each time you flush your tank. Cleaning your filter only takes a few minutes and requires no special tools.
One of our property owners of a newer home experienced a major problem when the thermal expansion tank on the hot water heater sprang a leak. This caused a great amount of water damage in her rental home and required all new flooring and much inconvenience for the tenant. Although there isn’t much you can do to prevent such a sudden emergency, there are some new devices on the market that can alert you if there is a water leak that can be very beneficial. Here’s a simple one found at Home Depot for $10. There are even bluetooth devices that can send a signal to your smartphone to let you know a water leak has been detected.
Generally, with proper water heater maintenance, it can be expected to last about 8-12 years. If your water heater is having problems and it is getting close to the end of its expected lifespan, it may be time to go ahead and find a replacement. When purchasing a new tank, make sure the model includes a good quality anode rod, to help prevent corrosion.
At Real Property Management Rental Solutions, we do much more than just provide water heater maintenance! We love helping Middle Tennessee owners maintain their rental homes in great condition. Contact us today to learn more about the property management services we offer.