A water heater is a must-have for every home. Nobody wants to shower with freezing cold water in the winter! But even in relatively warm seasons, many people still enjoy a hot shower, especially at night. For this reason, most water heaters are used every day, making them potentially subject to wear and tear damage earlier than normal.
But a well-maintained water heater can last for about 10 years, though that doesn’t mean it won’t encounter problems during the course of its useful life. Signs of a broken water heater include leaks, rusty waters, and unusual noises. These damages may not be immediately noticed if your water heater is tucked under sinks or in the basement, hence you regularly need to check yours, especially if it’s over 10 years old already.
If left unattended, a broken water heater may pose life-threatening dangers to you and your property. Here are the disasters that might happen due to your negligence:
A simple leak shouldn’t be underestimated. If it is caused by water buildup in the tank, the pressure relief valve must fix it, since it is designed to release excess water when pressure is building up in the tank. But if the pressure relief valve itself is broken, the tank may be unable to endure the water pressure, causing it to explode.
Water pressure may also occur if the temperature is set too high. If this is the case, the explosion will render serious damage, as the blow-up can be felt through multiple levels of a home. This is called thermal expansion.
- Fuel Burn or Electric Shock
Thermal expansion may also cause fuel burn, which may, in turn, cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Electric shock is another risk, especially if the water heater is installed improperly. For this reason, most states prohibit DIY water heater installation.
Only an expert in water heater repair in Orem and other places can connect your water heater’s pipes to your plumbing lines correctly, ensuring that you’ll get the right water supply and the proper drainage. Drainage, in particular, is highly crucial since problems in there can also cause water pressure.
- Dirty Water
When the water coming out of your faucets and showers suddenly becomes rusty or reeks of metal when the heat is on, the plumbing pipes are likely suffering from rusts, too, or the water heater itself has a problem. Rusty water may contain harmful chemicals and bacteria, so identify the source at once, and have it repaired.
To find out where the damage is, drain heated water from your device enough to fill five buckets. If the water is still rusty by the third bucket, then the damage is most likely in the water heater, not in the pipes.
- Mold Infestation
Leaks and moisture can travel to the surrounding areas of the water heater, encouraging the growth of molds. If your heater is in the basement and you don’t notice the damage immediately, the molds can reach the foundation of your home and potentially weaken it, causing costlier problems.
To avoid this, always keep an eye out on the areas where a water heater is installed. Dry out the moisture around the device the moment you see it. Molds don’t only cause foundation issues, but health problems as well, so don’t give them room to grow, to begin with.
Following your awareness about these broken water heater safety issues, observe diligent preventive maintenance and always consult a pro before trying to tweak anything in your device by yourself. Water heaters aren’t cheap, so don’t take yours for granted.