How does a water heater work?Most homes use a conventional water heater, like the one shown in the video below. It can be powered by electricity, gas or oil. It keeps a supply of hot water in the tank for whenever you need it. Its operation is fairly simple. Cold water is automatically delivered to the bottom of the tank where a heating element heats the water. Then, when hot water is needed, it's sent throughout your home.
Why is maintenance important?A water heater isn't maintenance free. Over time, rust, corrosion and sediment build up can seriously affect the efficiency and longevity of your water heater.That's why it's important to have an annual inspection. Key elements of an inspection include:
- checking the tank and connections for rust and/or corrosion,
- testing the pressure relief valve to make sure it's operational,
- inspecting the anode rod to see that it's still attracting harmful minerals,
- draining and flushing out sediment and more
Please read one of our previous entries HERE on what you can expect from your local Hebron CT plumber during a check up.
What happens if it's not serviced?Aside from being without hot water, there are a few other things than can happen without regular maintenance. First, the tank can rust through, and it will leak. Sometimes, it won't even leak...it will just burst and flood your home! The picture below shows what happened in the basement of one of our Hebron CT customers.
There's a piece inside your heater that helps prevent a water heater leak. But the piece needs to be checked to make sure it doesn't need to be replace. That piece is called an "anode rod." Here's a comparison of what a BAD one looks like, and what it SHOULD look like. It's important to replace that rod because once the minerals eat it away to nothing, they will start to eat away at the water heater itself. The end result? A leaky heater.