Whether powered by electricity or gas, a water heater can be a worthwhile investment in a home, especially during winter when those hot morning showers are necessary. With a good care plan, a water heater can last for many years and thus reduce the maintenance costs. Furthermore, regular inspection and repairs of water heaters keep utility bills at a minimum. This article gives homeowners top tips for troubleshooting common water heater problems.
Leaking Water Heater -- Water heaters can suffer from perennial leaks, but this does not mean that you should replace the entire system. You can perform simple fixes before a plumber arrives at your home to troubleshoot the water heater. Ensure that you shut off the power source, either gas or electricity, before working on the water heater. The next step is to turn off the water via the water valve before draining the tank. Sometimes, a vacuum in the tank might cause the water not to flow despite the drain valve being open. In this case, turn on your hot water faucets to allow air into the tank, which subsequently breaks the vacuum, enabling the water to drain freely. You can then call your plumber to fix the leaking problem.
Sanitizing Water Heater -- Microorganisms and chemicals in municipal water can react with the surface of a tank-type heater to release a foul odor akin to the smell of rotten eggs. You can try to add hydrogen peroxide to the water tank to minimize the smell. Hydrogen peroxide helps to soften the water and remove the bacteria responsible for the smell. Sanitizing a water heater requires you to drain the tank first. However, some technicians note that softening the water can exacerbate the smell problem, and thus, you might have to replace the sacrificial rods.
Sacrificial Anodes -- Water heaters have sacrificial anodes that help to prevent corrosion in the tank. The sacrificial rods are commonly made from aluminium or magnesium. However, when these anodes wear out, the interior of the container can corrode, leading to foul smells and the accumulation of debris. Some plumbers recommend that you only install one sacrificial rod instead of the prevalent practice of installing two. If you have the budget, you can buy a powered anode that generates a continuous electrical reaction, which minimizes corrosion. The best part about powered anode rods is that despite being expensive, they are permanent, since they are not sacrificed during a reaction.
If your water heater is experiencing major issues, consider contacting a plumber that provides hot water installation services.