How to Maintain Your Heater so it Lasts 25 Years

Do you really know how to save money?

Read on! We’ve listed 3 tips on how you can make your water heater last as long as possible, saving you precious time and maximising the value of every dollar you spend!

Cheap thing no good, good thing no cheap

A typical water heater in Singapore lasts five years, if you’re in luck. I’ve heard in recent years that some fail even quicker. What is hard to swallow is how people shortchange themselves by growing into an acceptance of buying a cheap product and putting up with a paltry 5-year lifespan.

Don’t be penny wise, and pound foolish. Surely, there are more intelligent ways of saving money.

One of the reasons why I absolutely love being a representative of A. O. Smith water heaters is that this company is founded on the principle of integrity, which translates to an extensive list of great things to talk about. Like how this guy here lasted 25 years before calling it a day.

A 25 year old A. O. Smith water heater, just stopped working yesterday. Chiltern Park, Singapore.

Defying a ‘normal’ lifespan

The water heater isn’t a car. You’re not going hunting for the latest model to purchase for show-and-tell to your buddies every three years. Ideally, you want it to lastHere is the reality of a downright perplexing situation in Singapore with a cheap heater versus a good one:

Start asking yourself.. What does it mean for me if something can potentially last five times longer than what I have been previously buying?

It means, you save on the cost of:

  • 4 new heaters $280 x 4
  • labour cost $150 x 4
  • ceiling work cost $150 x 4
  • your wasted time (insert your hourly rate) x 6

If that has gotten your wheels spinning, it is time to hop over to the next subject! (This is for those who have made the decision to invest in durability.) Making that water heater last, dragging out every inch of that water heater lifespan so that your dollar gets stretched to its maximum value.

#1 Maintain your heater

This isn’t a surprise. If you want something to work good and long for you, you should take care of it. Just like how we send our cars in every now and then, how we service the air-conditioner every 6 months… you get the idea. The water heater is no different.

We make it our responsibility to call homeowners every three years or so to let them know their heaters are due for routine service. The surprise we get is how many owners balk at the price of maintenance, wanting to know if maintenance is compulsory. Unlike a car, maintaining your water heater isn’t compulsory. But not maintaining it means.. it will last less, and in the end you will end up paying more.

Don’t get stuck in the mess of not doing the math.

Components do wear down over the years and maintenance checks issues early so that other parts of the heater do not get affected consequently. Besides, the water heater is the highest rated wattage appliance in your entire home. Don’t you want to make sure it is in safe, working condition? Maintenance goes beyond making your appliances last. Ensuring the safety of one’s family should be the key concern.

#2 Keep your water clean clean clean!

Many might think: what is the big deal? In Singapore, we already have one of the cleanest water sources in the world!

There is no better way to demonstrate this than through a video. Shown here is a water tank that we are in the process of ‘flushing’ after five years of use.

The accumulated sediments are so visible that all the water in the pail is grey. The truth is, water coming into our homes have travelled great distances to reach us and have invariably collected some sediments along the way. If you have no system in place to rid the water of these impurities before they enter your home, it goes straight into your water heater and stays put.

There is a reason why water tanks in HDB and apartments get a thorough maintenance cleanse every 6 months to a year. You don’t see the building management or Town Council opting out of that one!

Since it isn’t feasible to do a tank flushing every year for your own water heater, we recommend you keep your incoming water clean in the first place with a pre-filter. This means you have two options:

#3 Reduce your heater thermostat

If you have a digital heater, it is easy to do this from the control panel.

As your water heater heats up and cools down, the internal tank goes through a series of expansions and contractions. Fresh out of the box, the default thermostat settings on a water heater are 70ºC, but reduce this to 50ºC to significantly reduce the thermal expansion.

Thanks to our tropical climate, 50 ºC is plenty for an average household of four.

Tip: Don’t set the heater to a level below 50ºC! More on that here.

In conclusion..

We’ve just given you three useful tips on how you can create value with every dollar you’ve spent on your water heater to make it last for you.

Given our higher standards of living in Singapore, it is much more cost effective to invest in something which lasts versus something which calls on your time, money and attention every five years. Time eaters like these are more expensive in the long run.

Be meticulous about your finances and wise with your decisions, and your choices will take care of you.

Other related articles:

Top 3 gas heater issues

We’ve complied the top three problems homeowners in Singapore face with their gas heaters and how to fix them.

5 ways digital heating saves time and money

It is time we learn to let technology automate and take over our mundane tasks..

4-point Installation safety checklist

Unsure of whether your plumber has fixed your water heater correctly? Here’s a visual guide to help you!

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Amanda is an education specialist at AOS Bath. She enjoys building a trusted network by sharing knowledge. Making difficult concepts simple and engaging is rewarding, on both ends.