You might not think much about your water heater since it may be out of sight and faithful about making hot water every day, but you don't want to get lax about maintaining the appliance. You may even want to call in a plumber to provide maintenance about once a year or so, depending on how hard your water is. Here's why regular professional maintenance is a good thing for a water heater.

Problems With Sediment Are Eliminated 

Flushing the tank out regularly is an important step in water heater maintenance, and it might be a job you don't like to do yourself. You can hire a plumber to flush the heater while doing other preventative maintenance work and checks on the equipment. Flushing sediment out helps your water heater operate more efficiently.

If you have hard water or unfiltered well water, the sediment can build up fairly quickly in the heater and lead to a variety of problems due to the heating element and bottom of the tank being coated with scale or sediment. You might notice specks of debris in your water or hear popping sounds coming from the tank. It might be difficult for your tank to maintain the proper water temperature when there is interference with sediment buildup.

Getting rid of sediment involves attaching a hose to the tank and draining the water into a drain or onto your lawn. Doing this regularly can prolong the life of your heater and help it operate more efficiently.

Safety Checks Are Made

While it isn't common for water heaters to explode, it is a potential hazard since water is heated in a closed container. As the heat rises, the pressure rises inside the tank. If the pressure gets too high, the tank could be damaged and start leaking. The worst case would be a tank that explodes.

Fortunately, water heaters are made with safety mechanisms installed that keep this from happening. When you get a visit from a plumber, they may check the safety devices to make sure they are operational and will protect you in case the tank ever needs to release pressure.

Breakdowns Are Prevented

When a plumber checks your water heater, they look for worn parts and other problems that could lead to a breakdown in the near future. By replacing a worn anode rod before it fails or by identifying and repairing a faulty thermostat before it stops working completely, the risk of losing your hot water is diminished.

If you hate the thought of being without hot water, especially during the cold months, then having regular maintenance done on your water heater takes on more importance. Plus, if your water heater is fairly new, proof of regular professional service could be a requirement for maintaining the manufacturer's warranty.