Hot water heaters are relied on by a variety of industries and for several applications. When a problem arises, it can sometimes be unclear what caused it and how to go about a repair. Luckily, there is a great deal of knowledge available regarding the most common hot water heater issues and how to deal with them.
What Causes a Leak?
Hot water heater leaks can occur for several reasons, although old age and poor condition/maintenance are typically the sources of the problem. There are several places you can check to determine where the leak is coming from. One of the simplest repairs is tightening a loose drain valve. If you notice water leaking on the floor, try tightening the drain valve to see if this resolves the issue. Another cause could be due to excessive pressure in the tank. Excessive pressure is likely the result of a faulty valve, either from too high of a temperature or increased water pressure. Over time, water heater tanks will begin to corrode and rust, eventually leading to a leak. Tanks have an age average lifespan of 10 to 15 years and should be replaced thereafter.
Other Hot Water Heater Issues
Sometimes what looks to be a leak is just a buildup of condensation. This happens when the temperature of the air outside the tank is warmer than the water inside it. In addition to causing a leak, rust and corrosion can also cause the water inside the tank to become discolored. Even worse, hot water heaters can develop an odor if a bacterium builds up in the tank. If your tank is making a loud rumbling sound, the most likely cause is a buildup of sediment in a tank, which in turn causes the bottom of the tank to overheat, boiling the water.
Your maintenance staff should be able to address the majority of required hot water heater repairs. However, if an immersion heater is failing to work, but the electricity is flowing, the immersion heater will most likely need to be replaced. In other cases, only a heating element may need to be replaced. Refer to your water heater’s manual for specific repair instructions.
Whether your industry uses internal maintenance workers or a third-party, it’s important to service your water heater at least once a year. Draining and refilling the tank removes sediment buildup. This is also a good time to ensure that the valves are working properly and a chance to make any necessary part replacements.
There are several important things to take away from this topic. First and foremost, invest in a high-quality water heater under warranty. This will ensure sustainable parts and assistance if the water heater must be replaced. Once your water heater has been selected and purchased, develop a maintenance schedule. Regular service will provide an opportunity to address issues before they interfere with your time and business.