Observing And Maintaining Water Heaters
Water heater warranties last for many years, and perhaps a decade, but it won't last forever. Proper maintenance of your unit can help you in saving time and money, but sometimes it's easy to forget about until it breaks. Or worse, it ruins your flooring or sets on fire. Here are signs that your water heater needs attention:Does it take longer than usual for the water to get hot? Do you get a consistent temperature through out your shower? Do you run out of hot water sooner? These are all signs that your water heater isn't working efficiently. Is your electrical bill higher? Your unit makes up roughly 15 percent of your electrical bill, so if you see a spike, know that it might need a repair or replacement. Do you notice rust or a pool of water underneath? If you find either of these, the heater has to be replaced.Observe your water heater closely a couple of times a year. Taking ten minutes to check for those warning signs could save you hundreds, or even thousands.Don't operate the unit if it's experienced flood damage. Plumbing should always be replaced, not repaired, after a flood. Warranties void after a flood, so you will need to contact your insurance for coverage. Inspect and replace the anode. Most people have never heard of an anode, even if it's an important part of extending the life of a water heater. An anode is an aluminum or magnesium rod wrapped around a steel core wire. You can locate the anode screwed into the top of the tank. If you can see the bare core wire, then it's beyond time to replace! Install in location with drainage. Due to the normal corrosive action of water, the tank will leak eventually. A suitable drain pan should be installed under the unit to protect your house from water damage. Fill tank with water before operation.If you turn on the ability to your water heater before it's filled with water, there's a good chance you'll burn out the element in your unit. Be alert for thermal expansion. When water gets hot, it increases in size. This becomes dangerous, lethal even, when there isn't a place for the warm water to build. Water heaters have a relief valve, which releases the pressure, but levels are dangerous long before the relief valve operates. The solution is to set the pressure it generates to operate in the normal range, below the emergency setting of the relief valve. Installing an expansion tank will allow room for the hot water to build without generating dangerous pressure.