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3 Common Problems With Household Water Heaters

05/05/16

Water heaters are crucial to modern comfort. You expect to enjoy hot water as soon as you turn on the tap, whether you’re at work, at home, or at a local restaurant.

However, water heaters are prone to a few problems that can destroy their efficiency.  If you take care of your water heater and catch these problems early on, you can replace the broken part and improve your heater’s efficiency without investing in a new unit.

Read below to learn more about the most common problems your home’s water heater could face.

1. Your Anode Rod Is Corroded

Water heaters rely on anode rods (which are also called sacrificial anodes) to avoid rust. Since your water heater is made of metal and constantly exposed to water and rust-inducing chemicals and minerals, it wouldn’t last long without another component to absorb the rust.

Sacrificial anodes attract rust, which means they slowly corrode while the water heater stays clean and rust-free. Since your anode rod’s main purpose is to corrode in place of the tank, it needs to be replaced. Otherwise, when the rod corrodes completely, your tank will start to rust instead. Rust can create holes and leaks in your heater, which require you to replace the entire unit.

If your tank is a few years old, contact a water heater repair technician to check your anode rod. He or she can replace the rod with a new one as needed.

2. Your Pilot Light Has Gone Out

If you have a well-functioning, clean, and well-maintained gas water heater, you shouldn’t experience any problems with the pilot light. If the light does go out, it should be relatively easy to relight it, though you should be careful to do so safely.

However, if your pilot light goes out frequently, your water heater probably has a more extensive problem that needs to be fixed. For instance, your water heater’s thermocouple senses when the pilot light is on. Once it determines the light is on, it turns on the gas valve. If your thermocouple is dirty or bent out of place, you might need to clean it or adjust it so the pilot light can stay on.

Always turn off the gas and let the thermocouple cool before you touch it to clean or move it. You can also contact a repair technician to resolve the problem or replace the thermocouple if it’s irreparably damaged.

3. Too Much Sediment Has Built Up in the Heater

As water heats up, minerals separate from the water and sink to the bottom of the tank. Eventually, the heat causes the minerals to harden and coat the bottom of your heater. The buildup destroys your tank’s efficiency and, if you don’t deal with the problem, can cause the bottom of your tank to corrode and leak.

Hard water contains more minerals than soft water, so sediment buildup can become more of a problem if your home has hard water. However, sediment will gradually build up in any water heater, regardless of the type of water you use. You can install a water softener to prolong your water heater.

If you hear a rattling sound when the water heater kicks on or if you’ve noticed your water heater has become less efficient over the last few months, you should drain the heater and remove the sediment. A repair technician can also perform this task. He or she might recommend that you replace your water heater if the sediment is too thick and the tank has already corroded.

Get in Touch With a Technician

You deserve-and you need-to have warm water in your home. If you think you have any of the above problems, or if you’ve attempted to resolve these problems to no avail, get in touch with a repair and replacement company as soon as possible. Soon, you’ll enjoy the benefits of hot water, a higher efficiency appliance, and decreased utility bills.

Posted in: Knowledgebase

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