Over past few years, the home appliances are becoming smarter than ever. Top home appliance manufacturers are in a movement on improving technology and making the device more intelligent and smart. Now you can control the modern appliance by the flick of your finger or with voice command. Moreover, the competition reaches such a level that they have to make the machine energy efficient and also eco-friendly.
Imagine this scenario: you’re in the middle of the shower when the water heater suddenly stops producing water. Because it’s winter, trying to finish your shower with cold water is out of the equation. You can’t even step out of the shower room because of the cold. Indeed, this is a nightmarish scene you don’t want to happen anytime.
But the truth is that any water heater will succumb to malfunctions at any given time. Thus it helps to have some basic knowledge on common water heater problems and more importantly, how to solve them. Here are some of the more common problems involving water heaters and how you can address them:
Water Becomes Too Hot
If the water heater suddenly produces water that is too hot for you, then it is likely that the thermostat is not working properly. To address this problem, turn down the temperature on the thermostat dial of the water heater. You should note the present setting before turning it to a cooler or lower setting. You will then have to reset it just to check if it is working properly.
Another possible reason why the water heater produces hot water is that the heating element is shorted out. In this case, you will have to replace the heating element. This is a chore best left to the pros.
Water Heater Becomes Noisy
Another common problem is when the water heater makes a rumbling sound. This is caused by sediment building up at the bottom of the tank. The heat coming from the gas burner below causes moisture in the gunk to flash into steam that spouts into the water.
This is fairly easy to solve. First, bring the gas control of the heater to low setting. Shut off the cold water supply to the heater before attaching a hose to the drain valve of the tank. Open a faucet on a nearby sink and then open the drain valve of the heater. You’ll see water coming out of the hose to be murky. When the water starts to run clear, shut off the valve.
You will likely see the drain valve of the water heater not completely shut since it is blocked by corrosion and sediment. Get a hose cap and then tighten it onto the drain valve. You may also get Teflon plumbing tape, apply it to the valve threads, and then tighten the cap.
Start refilling the heater by opening the cold water supply and leaving the hot water faucet open. Bring back the gas control to “on” setting after the water flows freely from the faucet.
Aside from the water heater producing water that isn’t too hot for you, another common problem is when the unit produces water with bad odor. This is likely due to the water reacting with the magnesium rod of the water heater.
One way to solve this is to shut off the cold water inlet valve of the water heater. Do a full flush by draining some of the water from the water heater. Then disconnect the metal hose connecting the cold water side of the heater.
You’ll need a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution that you can readily buy from any drug store. Pour in a cup of the solution for every 10 gallons of the water heater’s size. So if you have a 40 gallon tank, you’ll need to pour in four cups to the tank.
Turn the cold water back on to refill the tank after reconnecting the hose. Let it sit for a few hours. The hydrogen peroxide solution would kill the bacteria and the bad odor that goes along with it.
If that doesn’t work, you can remove the magnesium anode from the water heater and replace it with one made of zinc and aluminum.
As you can see, fixing some water heater problems is relatively easy. If you own the correct instruments, you will be capable to troubleshoot some common water heater problems. Knowing the solutions to these common water heater troubles should save you some dollars as you don’t have to call a professional, and let you stay in the shower far longer.
Even the best water heater isn’t going to last long without proper maintenance and care. Water heaters can and do go far when it comes to increasing energy savings, but you need to make certain you buy the right type. Since water heaters do not come cheap, it’s only natural to want to extend its lifespan. The good news is maintenance isn’t hard to do as the following information will show.
Before you start, don’t forget to read the product’s instruction manual for additional maintenance tips. A typical water tank is good for 10 to 12 years, but with proper care, you can make it last longer.
Clean the Tank
Over time sediment will build up in a water heater, and this has a detrimental effect on performance, efficiency and ultimately reduces their lifespan. For this reason, it is best to flush the tank every six months at least, more frequently if the water is hard.
Installing an expansion tank is another way to enhance its performance. An expansion tank is used to safeguard closed water heating and domestic hot water units from too much pressure. If you’re using a closed system, using an expansion tank can lengthen the lifespan of your water heater.
How is that possible? When water heats up from 50 to 120 degrees, a two percent expansion takes place. With a 50 gallon water tank, this expansion produces an additional gallon. With a closed system, the valve keeps the water from moving back in the main.
In this case, the water leads to a quick increase and decrease of pressure, and this can lead to water heater damage. However, this problem can be avoided with an expansion tank.
Use Water Softeners
Another way to improve performance is by adding a water softener. Water softeners will be especially useful if the water in your area has a high mineral content. Too much hard water leads to mineral water deposit on the surface, and this has an adverse effect on the life of water heater. The bottom line is if you have hard water, a water softener will help keep the tank and water clean.
Replace the Anode Rod
Replace the rod every three years to ensure optimum performance. The rod is subjected to galvanic corrosion after prolonged use as it serves as protection for the tank, so it’s a good idea to replace the anode rod to keep the tank humming and extend its lifespan.
You may have read that an anode rod should be replaced only once every 4 or 5 years, but there are situations that cause accelerated wear and tear. It is for this reason why we recommend replacing every three years and inspecting on a regular basis.
Keep an Eye on Performance
To be more specific, keep an eye on the water pressure. A lot of the problems that arise from the use of water heater stems from improper water pressure maintenance. The figure varies but usually it is around 60 to 80 psi. Replacing the temperature and pressure valve may be necessary if there is too much pressure. Fortunately, it is easy enough to test: if no water comes out after opening, get a replacement.
If the water pressure is at 90 psi it could lead to problems with the water heater’s performance. Equipped with a water pressure regulating valve, you will be able to control the water pressure and prevent damage.
Keep an Eye for Problems
If the water temperature fluctuates, it could be due to a malfunctioning component, or the pressure relief valve could be leaking. Water discoloration is another sure sign of a problem, and it indicates the anode rod needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
The number of people that use water heaters continues to increase, and we can expect this to rise in the future. Buying a high quality water heater is necessary, but just as important is the steps you take to maintain it. All too often people give up on their water heaters too quickly when maintenance could have prolonged its life. By following the tips and advice given here, you will be able to extend the life of your water heater and make it serviceable for years to come.