Water Heaters and Hot Water: A Plumbing Necessity
Water heaters are a plumbing appliance that is often taken for granted by most home owners. The average person expects to wake up in the morning to a large supply of hot water to begin the day’s activities and is highly upset if this does not automatically happen daily. Imagine living in some of the colder regions of the world and not being able to take a hot shower in the morning. Or, how would your family function if they were not able to use hot water to make breakfast in the morning? These are the little things that are supposed to just happen every day.
Plan and Maintain
However, this is not always what happens in each in every case. Maybe you are a homeowner that has moved into a fairly new home and you have not experienced any problems with your water heater yet. You are one of the lucky few. If you stay in your present home for any amount of years, you will start to see the signs that it is time to repair or purchase a totally new water heater. Although you cannot avoid it, the water heater is one of those plumbing appliances that you can somewhat control and extend its life, if you properly care for it. All it takes is a little planning and maintenance on your part. It is a combination of looking for the signs that your water heater is getting older and being proactive so that it might live a little longer.
See the Signs
Although no one ever wants to see their water heater go out, there are a few signs that will indicate that it is about to go on the blink. First, when you run the hot water, is it discolored in any type of way? Are you starting to get muddy or brown water? This might be an indication that the tank is rusty or has a build up of scale or sediment on the inside. Second, does the water smell like rotten eggs or sulphur? Although gas leaks can sometimes have this same smell, you might have a case of bacteria growing in the tank. This is a sign that something is wrong and should be checked out by a licensed professional. Third, if you having a problem with hot water going on the blink, this could also be a sign that sediment is building in your tank. This is natural and has nothing to do with your actual plumbing. The minerals in the water separate and collect in the tank once they are heated up.
Possible DIY Solutions
In order to save money, the average homeowner will try to remedy these problems on their own. First, you could possibly try to use a water softener to get rid of the built up sediment, but you might decrease the life of the anode rod in the water heater. Second, you might want to just reduce the heat to 130 F. After all, it is the heat that separates the minerals in the water. Or third, you could dissolve the sediment with commercial chemicals. However, check with a professional before proceeding.
Hot water is a necessity for most people, but many people just take for granted that it will always be there no matter what. Unless you plan and properly maintain your water heater, you will one day wake up and find yourself in a puddle of not so hot water.