When is it time to replace a water heater?

When is it time to replace a water heater?

We’ve seen the extreme scenarios on TV shows such as MythBusters; “Water Heater Explodes and Leaves Hole In Roof,” but, what happens to cause water heaters to fail?

Water heaters typically go bad for two reasons:

  1. Not changing the anode rod, which leads to corrosion that eats through the tank. If you haven’t had your water heater’s anode rod replaced (typically about every 10 years), it can become a ticking time bomb that can fail very soon.
  2. Sediment covering the electric elements / gas burner, at which point performance will be reduced. This will often cause “popping” noises, as the elements get quite hot and then cause water trapped within the sediment to almost instantaneously boil, causing a tiny explosion as the water turns to vapor.

So, now that we know that, what can we do to stop a potential disaster?

  1. Since most people don’t maintenance their water heater on a regular basis (due to it being out of sight and out of mind), that’s one place you can start;
  2. Regularly turn your water heater up past 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any potentially deadly microbes
  3. If you know what to look for on your anode rod, replace it when it needs replacing. If not, contact a certified professional to take a look at it for you.
  4. Clean around / replace burner elements when they need replacing.
  5. Periodically check the relief valve. These can become blocked or corroded over, and if so, it is a good idea to contact a professional.

Unfortunately, since most people do not have the opportunity to do the above steps, or the knowledge on what to look for when maintaining water heaters, it increases the chances that the water heater won’t be properly maintained and may fail.

If you maintain your water heater, you can expect many years of use out of it. If you are unsure of when yours was last serviced, Absolute Flood Response can put you in contact with one of our GREAT plumbing company partners here in Las Vegas, NV to help keep your equipment serviced and to keep you safe!

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