Most people don’t really pay much attention to the water heater in the bathroom until there’s a problem with it. Most automatically consider the water heater to be in good condition as long as it delivers hot water when they need it. However, just like all other systems in the home, routine water heater maintenance is necessary for optimum functionality.
While some issues with the water heater can be fixed easily without a need for a professional, you need to understand when to repair your water heater yourself and when to get a professional water heater repair service. But first, what are the common problems with a water heater, and how can you protect your water heater and plumbing from these problems?
Common water heater problems and solutions
Not enough hot water
The problem of a water tank producing too little hot water is always a cause for concern once encountered. Although, this problem can often be resolved by increasing the temperature on the water heater thermostat. That said, be careful not to turn up the temperature too high as it could be another impending scalding hazard.
Water softeners help in keeping more hot water in your water heater
Ever noticed that hot water doesn’t come out when you turn on your hot water faucet? The most common cause of this issue is a faulty thermocouple, heating element or pilot control valve. And usually, this can be resolved by replacing the heating element or thermocouple. We suggest getting a pro to handle the water heater repairs in this case.
Water softeners helps in fighting against smelly water in your water heater
When water is infested by bacteria, it smells awful (like a rotten egg type of smell). The solution to this is to simply flush out the water tank and replace it with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide. Then allow the solution to sit for a couple of hours before flushing again with new clean water. If the smell persists, or if both the hot and cold water still have a foul odor, then perhaps the water heater may not be the source. You may need to hire a plumbing professional to resolve the problem.
Noisy water tank
If you observe a noise from the water heater tank, it could be that sediments have settled at the bottom of the tank, or the heating element is literally burning the sediment. For settled sediments, you can easily drain the tank regularly. And when it involves the heating element, have a professional replace it.
Leaking heater tank
Once you notice that the tank of your water heater has started leaking, you just have to replace it with a new one. Simply contact a service expert to replace your water heater and save you the stress and discomfort of the leaks.
If your water is coming out colored, perhaps it is a sign of corrosion or rust from your water heater. You can opt to either replace the water heater entirely or replace the anode rod in the appliance to prevent rust from gathering in the tank.
Water softeners helps prevent the water from taking too long to reheat
A water heater that takes too long to get to the temperature you want when you put on your faucet or shower is probably the sign of a failing water heater or buildup of scales and sediments in the water heater tank. It could also be the result of the distance between the water outlet and the water heater. The most effective solution to this problem is to install a hot water recycling system to move hot water to the desired outlet faster. This also reduces the amount of water wasted while waiting for it to reach the desired temperature.
Before you attempt to protect your water heater from the above issues and more, it’s best to consider the type of water heater. Is it a tank storage heater or a tankless heater? You also need to know if the freezing temperature of your location will affect the water heater.
A tankless water heater doesn’t cope well with very low temperatures. However, provided it is always connected to its energy source, no special anti-freezing protection is needed as some energy will go to preventing freezing during cold weather (even when the water heater is not in use).
On the other hand, more protection is needed for a tank water heater, especially if it has constant exposure to the cold. It is advisable to get a water heater tank cover and drain the storage tank before the winter season to avoid the risk of freezing.
How to protect your water heater and plumbing with a water softener – Insulate your pipes
When the pipes connected to your water heater are exposed, the appliance does more work to heat up water, especially during the winter season. This translates to high energy bills. To prevent frozen water heater pipes, cut down on your energy cost, and make your water hot on demand, insulate your pipes.
Always check the temperature of the water
Although lowering your water heater temperature saves you some cash on energy bills, you can increase the water heater temperature if you are having challenges getting hot water. However, always maintain a temperature range of 115 – 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature above 125 degrees Fahrenheit is an impending hazard.
Flush the water heater system
If you want your water heater to last longer for you and work efficiently throughout its useful life, you must flush your water heater at least once every year. The reason for this is because of sediment buildup, which may lead to rust and clogging of the plumbing system and drain valve.
Always test the pressure relief valve
The pressure relief valve is a safety mechanism for different water heater types – either gas or electric water heater. To check, lift the valve halfway; if it returns to its default position automatically, then it’s working properly. Otherwise, get the help of a professional to ensure that it is working perfectly.
Water heaters are one of the common household appliances in the US, which is why it is important that you are aware of these common water heater problems. Paying close attention to your water heater is also helps you avoid unnecessary frequent repairs irrespective of the changing seasons. If you have experienced any other water heater problem not mentioned here, please leave us a comment below.
Final thoughts on using a water softener to protect your water heater
Everyone loves a hot shower, but it wouldn’t be possible without your hot water heater. Protecting this appliance through proper water heater maintenance and repair will help it to last longer despite issues that arise (sulfur water, leaks, corrosion, rust or more!). For what you can’t do yourself at home, call on Palm Beach Water Purification for help!