Question: Robert, I carefully read your article every week. Thank you for all the insights you give. They help us to be more consumer conscious. We had a water heater installed a little over a year ago and now the installer says we have to clean it annually and need a service. Are we being taken advantage of or is this legitimate? We were not informed of this when we bought it. judy
Answers: Judy, this absolutely has to be done. However, the cleaning schedule is based on usage, not time. If the house is used by you and maybe another family member, that’s very little usage and you can extend the cleaning cycle to maybe every two years. With more use, I recommend following the installer’s recommendation and doing it annually.
There isn’t much to this process. However, it is important that it is done. In fact, you can even do it yourself if you’re even a little skilled. You’ll need some big-box equipment, and if you watch a few online videos on how to clean a water heater, you absolutely can do it. The only time I wouldn’t recommend this is if you’re not comfortable, or if your original contract stated that service was required to maintain the warranty. Otherwise, it is quite possible for the layman to maintain this. Much luck.
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