The fact that your hot water heater is not working well is very frustrating
We work so hard all day, so it’s only right to go home and run a hot bath to wash off the day’s stench is our little slice of heaven. Some people prefer cold showers, others like it steaming hot, whatever your preference is if your hot water tank isn’t working then you’re getting none of that.
Hot water tanks could either be powered by electricity or gas. Either way, neglecting it may create certain casualties that you are not ready for. There may be quite some reasons why your hot water heater not working as it used to, but first, let’s confirm you are certain it isn’t working properly! We can confirm this with the following symptoms.
Your Hot water heater not working properly if:
• You turn on the hot water tap and get cold water instead.
• You’re running out of hot water.
• You notice pools of water around the hot water tank. (water heater leaking).
• There is corrosion in the fittings.
• You get a rotten egg smell in your water.
• You will notice rusting either at the top or bottom of the hot water tank.
• It makes clanging noises or other unusual sounds.
• It is far beyond its warranty date.
Now that we’ve identified the symptoms of a bad water heater let’s go further to see why your hot water heater is not working as it used to. The water heater like most other appliances in your home requires proper maintenance, and because of our busy schedules and responsibilities, we often forget to get it checked out every once in a while. Proper maintenance is the only way your tank will last beyond its warranty, and most water heaters have a warranty of 5-10 years. To get your water heater tank to last you a long time here are a few things you need to watch out for.
Here’s why your hot water heater not working.
Like mentioned earlier poor maintenance leads to a bad water heater. Hence it is important to get someone to check it out from time to time. Most people just buy water heaters and ignore it for the first few years, and this takes a toll on it. Leaks, corrosion, rusting, or even growths can develop outside the hot water tank which may lead to internal damages and slowly your hot water tank may neither produce hot water nor clean water.
Also to prevent overworking of the heater, in case you or your family is going on a vacation, you will need to turn off the water heater or reduce its temperature settings. This is done so that it doesn’t keep pumping hot water when you are away and with no one to make use of it; it may develop some glitches.
A water heater is made up of two important pipes. One that brings the water into it (cold water supply) and the other that gives out heated water. Now the water that comes into the tank is filled with little debris, sand or sediments that over time accumulates at the bottom of the water heater.
If you fail to drain your hot water tank at least once in two months, or if you have never drained it these particles and sediments will synthesize with other elements in the water heater and lead to corrosion, and in more extreme cases, these particulates cannot be filtered out anymore. Causing you to notice dirt or sediments in your bath or drinking water and hard water stains on your appliance.
Most water heaters come with a standard drain valve that has the diameter of a garden hose. Now to drain out your water heater, you will need to attach the drain outlet to the Inlet of a small garden hose. Once this connection is tight and secure, you’ll need to get a bucket and then put the hose’s outlet into a bucket or bath and then turn on the drain valve. This will drain out all the debris that has accumulated at the bottom of the hot water tank. However, to prevent flooding, this set up should not be left unattended. If you are not draining your hot water heater properly, it will stop working sooner than supposed.
Buildup of sediments
Each time the water is heated, limescale is created in the water heater. Being dirt, it builds up and accumulates and being heavier than water it drops to the bottom of the water heater. At the bottom, it creates an insulating covering that wears off the anode’s protection. It also causes the bottom part of the water heater to continually overheat (causing heat loss) as a means to get rid of these sediments, and this destroys the glass covering meant for protecting the water heater, causing a sort of electric burn out.
In addition, sediment buildup will reduce the overall water heater efficiency and you may have not hot water anymore. You can see limescale deposit on all your appliance if you have some hard water stains.
When this happens, the bottom of the tank gets loose and gives way. This is why the bottom may drop down, and the containing water will flood the environs.
Constant High Pressure
When the pressure of your water heater is always set to a very high degree. This is usually a common reason that kills hot water tanks, and owners do not usually check for this because they do not suspect that this can be a problem. High pressures in hot water tanks act as silent killers that slowly and steadily wear it out from the inside all the way out.
Now, the pressure of a hot water tank on its pressure gauge varies, but any pressure above 80 is sure to damage your water heater. It can damage its valves, pipes, and the receiving appliances like showers and taps.
If you notice that the pressure of your water heater is too high before it destroys it, you will need to get a valve to reduce the pressure and also an expansion tank that can reduce some of the work the water heater does. The expansion tank will also protect your water heater from thermal expansion damages. This happens when the water heater tries to maintain and regulate its hot temperature and fires up in its closed system even when no one is using it.
This could either be internal or external. External rusting isn’t immediately as detrimental as the internal. Now, each water heater comes with a magnesium anode rod that prevents it from rusting. But over time and with continued use, this anode wears out, and if not immediately replaced, it starts eating up the other metal parts of the water heater from the inside leading to internal rust. This internal rusting renders the internal metal parts of the water heater destroyed and gives way to leaks and growths.
It is important to note that under normal conditions if the warranty of your water heater is 5 years, then you may need to wait for this time to elapse before you replace your protective anode. But in the event in which water softeners are constantly used within the hot water tank then you will need to replace the anode before it reaches its warranty stretch. This is because water softeners eat up the anode faster and lead to more rusting.
Corrosive fumes for gas water heaters
Although this isn’t common with most people, during combustion gas water heaters draw air from the gas pipes into its burner. If the surrounding air around the gas pipes is corrosive in any way, it will automatically wear off the water heater, leading to rusting and failure of the hot water tank.
Hence, any material which does not produce oxygen or any material that has certain components which when induced with the combustible gas proves to be corrosive should be taken away from the hot water tank. Materials like bleach, insecticides, perfumes, fumigation sprays, etc., basically anything that doesn’t give out oxygen should be kept away from the hot water tank.
Quick Tip: Never place these corrosive materials in the same enclosed space as the water heater as this will only heighten the corrosive combustion and destroy your water heater faster.
Improper and loose fittings
If the fittings on the pipes, knobs, and valves of the water heater are loose, it may not function as well as it used to. This is easy and should be fixed immediately. Using a screwdriver, tighten these loose fittings and get your hot water tank in optimum condition. The looser the fittings the longer it takes for the hot water to come on.
Loose fittings also guarantee flooding of the environs of your water heater or your entire house. You do not want to spend a fortune on renovating that entire floor, hence tighten all loose fittings with a screwdriver.
Poor capacity measurement
If you want a water heater that is supposed to supply large amounts of water to various stations in your house, you’ll need to get one that can handle that capacity. If you have not properly determined or measured the amount of water you want the water heater to give off concerning the capacity of the water heater you purchase, you will end up overusing the water heater. The hot water tank will become over utilized and will eventually stop working because it was never meant to be used for that kind of extensive purpose.
Some water heaters are only for the bathroom; others supply hot water through an outlet in the house, it is important to determine the purpose you want the heater to achieve before purchase to prevent overworking, breakdown or destruction.
Inadequate current check
This is only applicable to electric hot water tanks. The electricity from other sources like your washing machine or iron, if connections are not done properly can jump into the connections of the water heater, inducing more current into the water heater than it can support. This is why your hot water tank is not working, as this can lead to corrosion and rusting and in more extreme cases it can cause severe electric shocks.
Hence it is very important to prevent this by connecting both incoming and outlet pipes to a number 6 copper wire above the hot water tank and also running this connection to the ground level of the mains.
Your water heater may not be fully functional if you notice either gas leaks (for gas-powered water heaters) or pools of water. Over time the rubber washers attached to the water heater reduce in size and start leaking. However, if you’re away while this happens, then you’ll need to prepare yourself to purchase a new hot water tank as the former will be destroyed.
Leaks cause rusting on the outside which eventually finds its way inside the tank, reducing the integrity of the water in the tank and also the functionality of the water heater. Hence all flex lines and union fittings need to be tightened at least twice a year.
To prevent a good number of casualties or to checkmate the demise of your water heater you’ll need to replace its current anode. Corro-Protec is a registered company that produces ecologically friendly powered anode rod that guarantees the ultimate protection of your water heater.
These anodes have auto adaptation properties; they conserve energy hence they are energy efficient and they prevent corrosion and rusting inside your water heater! The Corro-Protec anodes are of different models; they render your water odorless and tasteless, they are very easy to install.