2 Common Causes Of Water Heater Failure

5 July 2016
 Categories: , Blog


As major household appliances go, water heaters are relatively durable. Yet those who allow that fact to lead them into neglecting regular maintenance efforts often find themselves having to replace their heater completely. If you would like to learn more about the factors that tend to destroy water heaters, read on. This article will present valuable information about two of the most common culprits--and what you can do to stop them.

Internal Corrosion

Nothing could be more detrimental to the health of a water heater than the buildup of rust and corrosion on the inside of the tank. Fortunately, all water heaters are equipped with a rust-preventing component known as the anode rod. This rod is composed of soft metals that present a more desirable place for corrosion than the walls of your tank. For that reason, an anode rod is often alternately referred to as a sacrificial rod.

Over time, a sacrificial rod will become completely eaten away by corrosion. Once that happens, it will no longer be able to fulfill its function as a decoy for rust. In other words, corrosion will then begin to attack the walls of your tank with a new vigor. This will soon lead to all sorts of unwanted problems--from discolored water, to leaks, to outright tank failure.

To successfully keep such corrosion at bay, it is vital to have your anode rod inspected--and, if necessary, replaced--at regular intervals. Be sure to mention this to your plumber the next time you schedule them to come perform work at your home.

Sediment Build Up

Hard water is the name for water that contains a certain proportion of mineral content. Yet that doesn't mean that soft water is completely free of minerals. On the contrary, almost all water contains at least trace amounts of these minerals, which can wreak havoc on a water heater as time goes on.

What happens is that, when the water inside of your tank is heated, those minerals tend to "fall out," accumulating at the tank's bottom. This process happens very slowly, of course. But over the course of years and years, this layer of sediment can build up to a depth great enough to negatively impact the water heater's performance.

It does this by absorbing and retaining the heat that should be going to the water, thus reducing the efficiency of the appliance. Fortunately, you can prevent sediment build up from leading to unwanted problems by having a plumber flush your water heater. Doing this roughly once per year should be enough to keep mineral deposits from causing any problems. To find out more, speak with a business like Rickett Industrial Environmental Systems.