Most water heaters sold in the United States are tank-type, using either gas or electric heating elements. They are available in various capacities, with most residential water heaters being made in 30, 40 or 50 gallon capacities. Proper maintenance of your water heater will not only extend the life of the appliance, but provide an efficient and problem-free supply of hot water.
Adding a blanket will save energy costs.
Keeping the thermostat at the medium setting will save energy and reduce sediment build-up (sediment that builds up at bottom of the tank makes it more difficult for the burner to heat water).
Flushing the water heater every 6 months will extend the life of the heater and help reduce the amount of sediment particles that reach plumbing fixtures, particularly faucet aerators and showerheads.
Checking the plumbing pipes and fittings for leaks. Even a small leak (drip) will eventually rust the outside of the tank wall and cause the heater to fail.
For more information and trouble-shooting tips for your particular model, refer to the water heater manual provided by the manufacturer.