As winter approaches us here in Central Massachusetts and as temperatures drop, you are going to be relying on your water heater more and more. No one wants to turn a faucet on and feel freezing cold temperatures, especially in the dead of winter. On top of that, about one out of every 10 fires that begin due to a home heating device are linked to water heater issues so a broken or malfunctioning water heater is also a safety issue for you and your family.
But how do you know if you’re in the clear when it comes to your water heater and that yours is working properly?
Causes of Water Heater Problems
Below are six things you can check in on to ensure your safety and to steer clear of any major complications when it comes to your water heater.
Make sure your water heater isn’t constantly running. If you have a water heater that sounds like it doesn’t stop running, this could lead to damage on the system and it will most definitely lead to you owing more in heating bills. A quick fix is to use insulated blankets to cover the pipes of the water heater. With this added insulation, heat will actually stay in and the heater will run less.
Typically, water heaters have a steel core wire that is wrapped in aluminum, magnesium or zinc at the top. These are known as anode rods. While these rods help decrease corrosion, they can also rust over time, especially if you use a water softener. An anode rod usually lasts about five years (less if water softener is used). Check for rust on your system’s anode rod and if you find any, replace the rod so that the rust doesn’t start to affect your water heater tank.
As water heaters age, they become less safe and less energy efficient. If you’re working with an older water heater, think about investing in an upgrade.
An abundance of sediment at the bottom of your water heater is also going to contribute to the system not working properly. If you suddenly see an increase in your water bills or suddenly feel lower water temperatures in your home, you could have a sediment issue. Flushing your water tank is the only way to actually confirm this. If you’re not able to or don’t feel comfortable flushing your own water tank, Pioneer Oil and Propane is here to help.
While most of us like using hot water, you do not want your water heater’s temperature set too high. The majority of water heaters are automatically preset to 140°and this high of a temperature is not necessary, nor is it safe as it can cause burns. It’s much better to set the temperature to 120°.
Not only can severely high temperatures on a water heater cause damage, but high water pressure can as well. If your water pressure is too high, you may end up with to a leaky water heater.