When you forget about your water heater, it means you’re forgetting about the care it needs. While your system isn’t inherently dangerous on its own, ignoring the need for maintenance or water heater repair can be hazardous. From gas lines, gas valves, anode rods, and pilot lights, to circuit breakers, control valves and water leaks, there can be many things that cause your hot water faucet to not have hot water flow. These common issues can be fixed easily by a licensed plumber, or even a DIY homeowner, as part of regular maintenance. Here are 5 potential risks of neglecting your water heater tank.

1.     Corrosion

There’s a component within tank water heaters called the anode rod. It’s in charge of absorbing rust and corrosion. Your water heater also has a glass lining as an added layer against these conditions. This can also lead to smelly water, or water that smells like rotten eggs. This is one of the most common water heater problems 

If you see rust forming outside the water heater, or if your hot water taps are giving you reddish-brown tinted water, then, unfortunately, you’re likely looking at corrosion within your water heater from an anode rod that needs to be replaced.

Why is this dangerous? Because not only is rust-tinted water unhealthy to ingest, but it means your water heater can spring a pretty serious leak at any moment.

2.     Leaks

To be fair, a leak coming from the water heater is a fairly common problem homeowners face. And in the most ideal situation, it will be a leak that is easy-to-fix. It becomes a bigger problem, and potentially even hazardous, when it’s ignored or neglected for too long. There are a number of things that can cause this leak, and the source needs to be addressed. This includes:

  • A broken heating element. Not only your water but also your power needs to be shut off if you suspect this is the case. Wait for one of our professionals to come and take a look!
  • Rusty or corroded pipes. If you have an older home with aging pipes, corrosion is a very real risk. And corrosion leads to possible leakage, plus subsequent property damage.
  • Pressure buildup. In rare cases, a leaking water heater can be a sign of water pressure building up until it has nowhere to go. While you probably would never have to worry about an explosion occurring, I’m sure you’d like the peace of mind that comes with one of our pros taking a look.

3.     Scalding

There have been a number of advancements made to water heater technology, but there are still some thermostat limits on the precision control of water temperatures inside the tank. Unfortunately, many often think that the thermostat of a water heater works similarly to that of a furnace or other comfort system, thinking that the highest temperature they set it to be the highest temperature the water will reach.

Many people enjoy hot showers, but nobody wants to be burned by water that’s 140° instead of the 120° it was set to!

“How Can I Avoid This?”

The best way you can avoid the above-mentioned problems is by following the manufacturer’s guide on care and where to set the thermostat for optimal results, or by getting in contact with our professionals with any concerns or questions you might have! Don’t forget, either, that annual maintenance can help ensure your water heater stays in good shape throughout its lifespan, and to check for potential faulty thermostats, pressure relief valves, drain valves and other issues.

4.    Falling Heat Output

If your hot water heater is providing not enough hot water for your needs, and you know that you’re not just overwhelming it with demand, then you might have a couple different issues with the system. It’s possible that the burner assembly is clogged, preventing it from burning enough gas to create heat. It’s also possible that you have sediment building up on the bottom of the storage tank, insulating the water inside from the heat the system generates. You can have the burner assembly cleaned, and the storage tank flushed out to deal with these problems. You’ll need to have a professional examine the system to determine for certain what the problem is and repair it for you, though.

5.    Temperature Swings

If you have temperature fluctuations in the water coming out of your faucet, you might have an issue with the dip tube. The dip tube is a plastic tube that runs from the water line to the bottom of the tank. All fresh water entering the system flows through the dip tube and is let out near the bottom of the tank. This is closest to the burner assembly, so the fresh water will heat up faster and remain separate from the hot water leaving the tank.

The dip tube can crack after years of use, releasing cold water to mix with the hot water leaving the system at the top of the tank. This is what can cause those temperature swings. The tube will need to be replaced to fix the problem. This is a fairly simple thing to do, but you should still trust a professional to do it for you. You never know what else they might find that will need fixing when they open up the tank, and avoiding overheating for your water heater tank is best left to a plumber.

Hot Water Heater Issues

There can be numerous reasons why you have no hot water, or that your pilot light is needing to be relit often, or that you’re seeing sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank, to why you need a new thermocouple, are having issues with the water supply, and Climate Control can help with all of them. Whether you have an electric water heater or gas water heater, or if you’d like to look into getting into a tankless water heater, our plumber pros can perform troubleshooting on your current hot water tank or provide options for a new water heater.

Your system may have some of its parts covered under warranty, and sometimes simply accessing the reset button may be enough to fix the problem. However if you have any reservations about getting to your water heater, the access panel, or are concerned in any way, please call a professional plumber to help ensure your safety.

Climate Control Heating & Cooling provides comprehensive water heater repair services in the Kansas City, MO area. If you need help with your water heater, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’ll make sure that your system is restored to proper condition.

Don’t let your water heater be cause for worry! Contact Climate Control Heating & Cooling today for water heater maintenance and repair. Comfort & Care from the Team with the Bear.