Why doesn’t my old water heater work as well as it used to?
My water just doesn’t get very hot anymore…and there’s not much of it. I don’t understand, what’s going on!
It’s actually pretty simple…
Water heater tanks fill up with sediment over a period of time just from heating the water. The sediment collects at the bottom of the tank, so it keeps the water heater from holding as much water and is a lot less efficient. Instead of getting 50 gallons of hot water, you may get 35 gallons of hot water after a period of six or seven years.
But it’s not just a quantity thing. It’s a temperature thing too?
Yes, the problem becomes two-fold. When the water heater does fire up to heat the water, it has to heat through all the sediment at the bottom of the tank, so it does take it a lot longer to heat the water. And there’s less volume.
So, how do I know when my old water heater needs to be flushed?
It’s recommended to flush a water heater once a year, so that’s the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you wait longer, then once a year, sediment can build up too much in the bottom where you’re not able to flush a water heater if you wait three years before you do your initial flush, so. . .
Why should I consider replacing my old hot water heater?
- Number one reason is age of the water heater. Water heaters last about seven to nine years, and when they do develop a leak, it’s usually not a small leak, it’s a large leak, creates a lot of damage. If you don’t flush your water once a year, it just impedes the life of the heater, makes it a lot less shorter of a life expectancy.
- The second thing is losing the efficiency of the water heater. It actually starts costing you more to operate a water heater over a period of time just due to the buildup of sediment.
What is the sediment made of?
Minerals in the water. When you heat the water, the minerals collect and they fall to the bottom of the tank, or they start to build up on the inside of the tank itself.
What causes the rust around my water heater?
There’s what they call an anode rod, it’s a sacrificial rod located inside the water heater. The rod actually collects a lot of the minerals that are in the water when the water heats up. However, after time, the minerals actually eat that rod. It’s made of magnesium and when that rod deteriorates, the minerals in that water begin to actually eat the tank inside the water heater; that’s what creates the corrosion, the bulging and finally, leak from the water heater itself.
Do you look at those rods during a water heater inspection?
We look at the anode rods if that’s possible. A lot of times if the water heater has not been flushed from day one, once a year, that anode rod becomes so corroded we can’t get them out of the tank, so if it’s, it’s one of those things where if you haven’t kept up with the service, it’s usually too late to start the service at that point, and you’re just looking at replacing the heater.
Leaks Geeks Plumbing will only send a licensed plumber to any repair requested. In addition, because of our Master Plumber’s License, we have the capability to purchase a higher quality, professional grade water heater for replacement from a plumbing supply house. Water Heaters like these are not available to or through big box stores and due to the extra quality built into it and they are more expensive at first. However, because of the higher quality, they have the ability to fight off problems that a water heater is subjected to for a longer period of time. That means savings from fewer water heater replacements and better energy efficiency over the long term.
Call Leak Geeks Plumbing professionals if you need help with your water heater. We will work diligently to make certain that you are treated with respect and have all your questions answered before we go to work in your home.