If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about hot water heaters very much. But on that cold morning that you turn on your shower and step in expecting nice, comforting warm water only to find that the water is cold or lukewarm, you will know who is to blame. When hot water heaters are not working properly, the water throughout your home will not be warm or hot because it is not being heated properly.
There are many reasons that cause hot water heaters to not function correctly. Understanding the things that cause problems will help you properly maintain and care for your water heater; that way you can make sure that you always have hot water running in your house when you need it.
Problems in hot water heaters are most commonly caused by the buildup of sediments. The water that is piped into your house is often full of sediments like calcium carbonate. In small quantities these sediments do not cause harm when you use the water, but over time the sediments can build up in hot water heaters. When the water is heated it precipitates and the tiny sediments are separated from the water. Over time, the sediments will pile up along the bottom of the tank. This process usually happens gradually; depending on how hard or soft the water is in your area.
Sometimes you will hear hot water heaters making noises as the temperature rises. If your tank is fueled by propane, this is also probably caused by the buildup of sediment. When sediment buildup occurs in hot water heaters, the water does not flow as well and it won’t get as warm as you are used to. You can avoid sediment buildup by having a professional flush out your hot water heater on a regular basis.
Another reason the water in your house may feel cold or lukewarm when you want hot water is a broken or leaking dip tube. The dip tube is a part in all hot water heaters that moves the cold water to the bottom of the tank. If this tube is broken or leaking, the cold water will escape out of the tube and will mix with the warm water that has already been heated. This will cause the water that is sent out to the house to be cold or lukewarm. Problems like a broken dip tube are usually fixed easily. Hot water heaters with broken dip tubes do not need to be replaced; they just need to be repaired.
Another issue is pressure buildup within your heating unit. Because water expands inside a tank as it is heated, the pressure increases. Most hot water heaters have a pressure reducing valve that reduces the pressure caused by this expansion. If the valve is damaged, the pressure will not be released and this can turn into a damaging and expensive problem.
Most hot water heaters last many years with no problems, but to make sure you avoid unpleasant cold showers, not to mention expensive repairs, you should consider having your water tank checked regularly and to fix any problems immediately. However, nothing lasts forever, so time will come when you’ll just need to get yourself a new water heater, but what is the new water heater price? Where to search? The best place to search for a new water heater is online as there you will find much greater choice and probably far better deals.