There’s an old joke about people who work in IT: when everything is working right, the boss asks “What do I even pay you for?”, and when nothing is working, the boss asks “What do I even pay you for?”. Plumbers are often in a similar bind; we usually only get the call when emergencies pop up, and so we’re often associated with disasters (we wish more folks would sign up for preventive maintenance plans to avoid the worst). One of the more disastrous plumbing mishaps you can experience is a burst water heater; they can do a lot of damage to your property. Fortunately, a lot of insurance policies cover water damage, but you definitely don’t want to pay the deductible; there are warning signs that you might need to replace your heater before it burst, though!
The earliest sign your heater might need repairs is right there in your water; if it doesn’t get warmer than lukewarm, your heater probably isn’t working properly. This could be because there’s too much sediment buildup in your tank; you can get it cleaned out. Cloudy water is another sign of sediment that you should be on the lookout for.
Another sign you could be having problems is loud noises coming from the tank; loud, unexpected noises from any kind of machinery is a bad sign, so it’s good general advice to watch out for this kind of thing anywhere in your house. The sounds might be sediment; it bounces around in that metal tank. Once the sediment has been cleared out, if there are still noises, the machinery itself is probably struggling, and it might be time for repairs or replacement.
When things start leaking, you know it’s time to get repairs or a replacement done. Depending on how old your water heater is, replacement might actually be the most economical option; newer water heaters are more energy-efficient, and repairing an old water heater might not increase it’s lifespan that much. With very old heaters, you might need repairs every year, which will cost you more than a replacement rather quickly.
You need to be mindful of the temperature in your water heater, as well as the temperature and pressure valve. When your water heater is too hot, it increases the pressure within the tank, which puts a strain on it. The temperature and pressure valve is designed to open when there’s too much pressure, spilling water out; if this happens, check the temperature of your heater, and make sure it’s within the guidelines you’ll find in the manual. The biggest scare is when the temperature and pressure valve stops working, which can lead to catastrophic failure, and a water heater explosion, so it’s a good idea to test the valve regularly.
We’re available to do regular maintenance on all of your plumbing systems, including a yearly water heater check and clean. Should things go badly, of course, we’re here for you; we offer hot water tank service in Winnipeg you can trust 24/7, so if your tank bursts, give us a call, day or night.