By carrying out regular maintenance, you get to prolong the life of your hot water unit. Some kinds of repairs like the replacement of the pressure-relief valve or the heating elements are way too simple.
If in the event though that your water tank has a leak and is coincidentally older than 8 to 12 years, you would better off acquire a new heater. Do follow these troubleshooting tips to solve the electric or gas heater issues to know how long a water heater ideally ought to last.
Generally speaking, most manufacturers estimate the lifespan of their water heaters to be between 8 to 12 years. This timing, however, differs with regards to the location of use and the design of the specific unit, the quality of the installation, quality of water, and the maintenance schedule.
In case the water heater you have is older than 10 years, sustains some leaks around the base of the tank, or works erratically or sometimes not at all, you should look for a substantive replacement. Before you embark on the process though, be sure that any electrical issue such as a blown fuse or the tripped breaker is not the root cause of the problem of the failure of the unit.
TROUBLESHOOTING COMMON PROBLEMS
Start off by tightening the various connections on the water heater. By far the most common sign of a faulty water heater is the fact that the water dispensed may not be as hot as should be. This may often arise as a result of a defective thermostat or heating element.
If this is the case, check out the following issues:
Electric water heater
• Be sure that there is a water connection
• Reset the thermostat
• Flush the water to get rid of any sediments from the tank
• Enclose the hot water pipes
• Replace the thermostat or the heating elements
• Raise the temperature settings of the thermostat
Gas water heater
• Ensure that the gas is connected
• Switch on the pilot light
• Flush out the water to rid the tank of any sediments
• Wrap the hot water pipes
• Clean the gas burner thoroughly
• Replace the thermocouple which shuts off the gas supply automatically in case the gas flame goes out
• Increase the temperature settings on the thermostat
Other common problems and issues
• Hiss or sizzles – This may be brought about by the accumulation of the sediments in the tank. To combat the problem, drain the tank until you are left with clear water. Get rid of the elements and soak them in a pan that is full of water. Pour some vinegar into the water and leave for around one hour. Finish off by scraping the scales that are left behind.
• The pressure-relief valve that leaks – Simply replace the valve
• Water supply pipes that leak – Tighten the fittings. If this does not yield the required outcomes, shut off the water inflow and replace the various fittings.
The Maintenance of the Water Heater
Most modern water heaters are designed and constructed in such a manner as to demand little to no maintenance at all.
This notwithstanding, the following maintenance tips may prolong the lives of the water heaters nonetheless:
• Clear out the water heater at least twice each year. This eliminates all the sediments that may have accumulated and which are responsible for corrosion. This initiative also enhances the efficacy of the water heater as a whole.
• Gauge the pressure-relief valve. Do this by lifting its handle and letting the same to snap back in place. A burst of water of water should ideally ensue into the overflow drain pipe. If this does not happen, fix in place a new valve.
• Reduce the temperature setting of the thermostat to around 120°F. This diminishes the possible damages to the tank which chiefly arises as the result of overheating.
Maintain a Water Heater when Replacement is Inevitable
In case you are replacing a water heater, kindly use the same kind of unit. You should, however, consider fixing upgrades rather than the same kind of unit. For instance, you may contemplate increasing or reducing the holding capacity of the unit for the sake of accommodating a changing family. You may even choose to go tankless altogether.
Before embarking on the process of repairing or purchasing a new heater, be sure to skim the nameplate that is embedded on the side of the present unit. You will obtain some insightful pieces of information such as the capacity of the tank, the guidelines of installation, the insulation R-value, working pressure, serial number, and the model information. In case you possess an electric heater, its nameplate will also indicate the wattage and the voltage rating of the heating elements.