Water Heater Tips for Homeowners.
Maintenance for your home, its a new ending story. If its not one thing its another. We primarily talk about maintenance on the outside of your home when dealing with your home insurance. But what about inside the home? Many items in your home can fail and in some circumstances can cause damage to other parts of your home. Here are some water heater tips for homeowners.
Your water heater is one of those items that often gets overlooked until there is a loss of heat or a rupture.
Here are some signs to look for….
Lack of Hot Water
A failing water heater will always have either insufficient hot water or the water will be lukewarm during normal use. A normal operating 40 or 50 gallon water heater will have no difficulty supplying 2-3 showers back to back.
As the process advances the water heater continues to try and heat the water running longer and longer to get the job done, eventually the constant heating of the tank causes it to fail and the water heater begins to leak, or the control fails and the water heater has to be replaced. Annual flushing of the tank can help prevent this problem.
Weird noises or sounds
If you have a failing water heater it will make abnormal or weird noises. Sometimes these noises and sounds can be consistent or irregular. Many failing water heaters begin to gurgle and make bubbling noises. Some of our customers have described popping noises. How can you better determine if these noises are normal or not? Simply go to your water heater before running a load of laundry with hot water or before taking a shower. Take note of any sounds. After your shower or laundry load, go listen to your water heater again and take note of any changes in the noises or sounds.
Why does your water heater do this? Because it is starting to “cook” the sediment and crud that usually sits at the bottom of the tank. Now that you have used enough hot water, that sediment is getting stirred up.
As the water heater tries to heat the water the deposits insulate the heat from the water causing the tank to over heat and make these noises. This constant overheating of the tank causes metal fatigue and the tank eventually fails and starts to leak.
This is sediment and minerals usually from the lack of proper draining techniques and annual maintenance.
Murky or muddy water
Cloudy or smelly hot water is another sign of a failing water heater, mineral deposits travel out of the water heater and create cloudy hot water and often a metallic odor accompanies these deposits. The deposits travel to your faucets and clog the screens in the aerators slowing the flow of water.
This is the most important factor to take into consideration if you think you have a failing water heater. Most water heaters are designed to last around 10-15 years before they begin needing additional work. If your water heater is older than 15 years have a licensed professional come give you an assessment of what shape your water heater is in. If it is beginning to fail or on it’s last leg, start saving for a new water heater.
Leaks or Rust Around the Tank or Fittings
Rusty or leaking connections to the water heater are another a sign of trouble, water heaters use an anode rod to prevent corrosion, this rod is a sacrificial element and will eventually be depleted by naturally occurring corrosion. As the element depletes the corrosive forces begins to attach the tank and connections causing them to fail.
Bad Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
Failure of the temperature and pressure relief valve, all water heaters have a safety relief valve to release excess pressure if the control fails and the tank over heats. If this valve fails or is capped off to stop a leak the tank can explode with the force of a small bomb often destroying the home or even killing the occupants. Temperature and pressure relief valves should be tested once a year to assure they are working properly. Never cap off a temperature and pressure relief valve, if the valve is leaking replace it!
Also, if the number of people in your home is larger than 6, your water heater may fail at a quicker rate due to the higher usage over time. Routine maintenance will definitely assist in your water heater lasting a longer time.
Leaking hot water from the tank is an obvious sign of trouble and requires the immediate replacement of the water heater. A leaking water heater can flood your entire home if not replaced immediately.
Keep an eye on your water heater and water pressure and any concerns with the temperature of the water. Better protect yourself and your home by keeping these overlooked items maintained with these water heater tips for homeowners.