Hot water in the home, or ‘indoors’ as people used to call it, is a luxury that we all take for granted nowadays. A hundred years ago most people had to cut wood, make a fire and heat buckets of water to take a hot bath. Now, of course, we just turn on the tap and water magically comes out of the showerhead or any other faucet at the temperature of our choosing. Hot water tanks have been in use for many, many decades and they can be powered by gas or electricity or oil or solar. We use them for everything from laundry, showers, cooking, and washing dishes on a daily basis.
Tank style water heaters usually last about eight to ten years. Depending on the mineral content of the local water supply and tank style, water heaters generally operate at about 70% efficiency rating. Some things to inspect regularly and look into thoroughly with tank style water heaters are leaks, poor insulation, mineral build up (from the local water), and clanging and hissing noises, which should be recognized as a possible early warning sign that something is going wrong with the unit.
Leaks can be caused by improper installation or mechanical failure and any water on the floor leaking from the tank, means more money out of your pocket if it continues. The water heater is losing heated water and your energy and water bills will reflect the increased cost. The leak’s source should be diagnosed immediately and the water heater either repaired or replaced. You should also flush your water heater every six months or at least once a year and check for leaks and make sure the venting is secure. These kinds of quick inspections can save you money in the long run.
Clanging and hissing sounds generally indicate excess mineral deposits on the heating electrodes, usually lime, silt or other minerals. When these sounds are heard, the electrodes need to be inspected, cleaned or replaced. While you check for leaks, etc., the manufacturer states that your temperature and pressure relief valve should be replaced every two to three years for safety.
Since tank style water heaters have been around for so long, they have become familiar pieces of equipment in the homeowner’s arsenal of fundamental ‘behind the curtain’ necessities for running an efficient and comfortable home. When something does goes wrong with any of the comfort providing mechanical units in today’s modern homes, give our CPR Plumbing Services expert a call for a professional diagnosis and estimate on repair or replacement installation.