Our Water Heater Seems to be on the Way Out
Our water heater seems to be on the way out. Can you please give us a few clues before we call a plumber?
- Ed in Chino Valley
Ed, there are many different reasons for a water heater to “die”. Water heaters cannot just be installed and then never thought about again. One of the main reasons a water heater seems to be on the way out is sediment buildup. Sediment is a product from hard water and heat. The sediment builds up after time and causes the bottom of the water heater to overheat and eats away at the protective lining. I have seen many water heaters where the bottom has just fallen off and of course, must to the surprise of the homeowner, the floor is flooded. Neglect is another reason that water heaters die. Leaks can develop, so it is important to inspect your water heater from time to time. Just like high blood pressure is a cause for concern in individuals, high water pressure is a concern and a silent killer of water heaters. Any water pressure over 80 psi can damage your water heater, and for that matter any appliance in your home. A sign of high water pressure is when the pressure relief value opens and closes. Keep an eye open for that function, or better yet, test your water psi on your home. Corrosive Fumes are another cause of water heater issues. It is important to keep a separation of corrosive material away from your water heater and make sure they are not in the same enclosed space. Water heaters draw in air for the combustion and if you have corrosive material near the water heater, the heater is breathing in bad air.