Those hidden expenses that often come about in the home are usually down to systems that we take for granted. Plumbing, for example: when do you actually think about this vital yet unseen system that performs a task that we could not do without? Plumbing covers your drinking and bathing water, your heating and more, and when it’s not operating properly you soon know about it. Turn on a faucet and we expect water to come out – either hot or cold as requested – and it usually does.
But what if your hot water tank is not working properly? These devices are not designed to last for ever and generally have a limited lifespan. You may find that your tank is damaged or just to old, so what do you do? That’s when you call in the professionals. A water tank – especially the hot one – is not the job for DIY so you need to talk to the right people. Let’s have a look in more detail and see why a hot water tank might fail, and how long you should expect one to last.
Why a Hot Water Tank Might Fail
There are a number of reasons why your hot water tank might fail, so let’s have a look at a few of the most common problems with hot water tanks Winnipeg residents experience and what can be done about them:
- Sediment build-up can occur in a hot water tank. In the water that comes into your home from the water supply in the USA may be tiny yet harmless sediment. This would normally be washed through the system but, when water is heated, particles fall to the bottom. This can cause blockage but may be repairable by flushing the system every year.
- Internal rust can cause problems with the tank itself and with something known as ‘sacrificial anodes’. These are special metal rods designed to corrode in place of your water heater, and over time they will fail. They will last many years and can be replaced by a professional whom you should engage to check them every year.
- High pressure – anything above 80psi – can cause damage to the water heater, the tank itself and the pipes leading in and out of it, so it is essential you have a pressure gauge that is accurate. Ask a professional to check if you suspect high pressure in your hot water tank.
- Corrosion from fumes such as ammonia and bleach can cause serious damage to the heater and the tank, as well as the peripherals, as these fumes can be drawn into the tank on the air that surrounds the tank. Keep these items far away from your tank as excessive corrosion will mean the tank needs replacing.
- A heater that is not powerful enough for your needs will work over its limits and will very soon fail. Always check with a plumber that the heater you have or are having installed is suitable for the job.
- A water tank should last between 8 and 12 years. If it is older than 12 it will more than likely need replacing as it will be past its best. Newer and more modern water tanks and heaters are more efficient that the one that has been in your house for more than a decade so talk to your plumber about fitting a new heater if you suspect you have an older one.
It is prudent to have your water heater and tank examined and serviced each year if you are to get the best and longest service out of it, and it will also highlight any problems such as those above that need attending to.
Installing a New Hot Water Tank
As we have seen above the most common problems with hot water tanks can usually be repaired, but an older tank will almost certainly need replacing with a more energy-efficient model. It is not a job for DIY so you are strongly advised to contact the professionals to have the job done properly.
If you have a plumber who regularly checks your system, as we advise above, then they will be the people to assess your system and find the right product. They will also install your tank and make sure it is insulated property so as not to lose energy which can be damaging to both your wallet and the environment.
If you suspect your water tank and heater needs looking at or you have recently moved into a new house you should get the professionals in to perform a full inspection of the system, and they will be able to help you where any repairs are required, or if your water tank needs to be replaced thanks to damage or old age.