In: Home & Family26 Aug 2013
It’s probably about time to buy a replacement unit as soon as rusty-colored and smelly water comes out of your taps. However, you can try draining and flushing the tank to see if the sediments can still be removed inside. Excessive sediments usually buildup if your water heater is not maintained regularly.
Letting a water heater rust and corrode over a long period of time can result to a flooded basement and soaked floorboards. When this happens, find the cause of the leak as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Do not wait until your clothes are all stained because of scummy water. Inspect your water heater before the situation worsens.
Traditional tank-style water heaters usually have anode rods installed in them that are either made of aluminum or magnesium cast. These sacrificial rods are responsible for attracting charged water molecules to protect your tank from rusting over a period of time. Drain your water tank to be able to inspect the anode rod thoroughly. Once it measures less than of an inch, replace it immediately. This is an important part of a water heater as it prevents the internal components from absorbing sediments that can lessen the heating efficiency of your unit.
There may be two anode rods installed in your unit if it has a 12-year warranty. On the other hand, tanks with a six-year warranty normally come with one anode rod. Many anode rods are needed if you own a commercial-sized tank. This rod works through the process called electrolysis, wherein one metal protects the other metal from corroding if they are connected in water.
An anode rod last longer depending on your water usage, quality and temperature. Using water softener can improve the quality of your water, but it speeds up the anode rod to deteriorate at the same time. Experts recommend checking the rod every year to avoid encountering water heater problems in the future.
Extend the life of your water heater by draining and flushing it twice a year. Depending on the type and brand, a water heater usually lasts for about 8 to 10 years. Gas water heaters malfunction sooner compared to electric water heaters. Consider buying a tankless water heater if you want a more durable heating system for your household.
Expect your energy costs to increase if you keep on using your rusty old water heater. Have it inspected as soon as possible if it starts generating less hot water than it used to. Failure to do so can cause the water heater to stop operating, leading to a costly repair or unexpected replacement.
If you notice your water heater malfunctioning more often, call a specialist for professional help. Recognize and detect signs of damage in the early stage to prevent the problem from escalating. If the problem is beyond any repairs, have it replaced to meet the hot water demands of your household.