Water heaters are among the most durable of home appliances for one very good reason--they have to be. Not only is are they constantly being exposed to the corrosive effects of water, but they must also be able to withstand temperature fluctuations of hundreds of degrees. These forces would wreak havoc on all but the most expertly built appliances.
Of course, it's inevitable that even top of the line water heaters are bound to develop problems as time goes on. Yet by educating yourself about what factors lead to water heater failure, you can do wonders to extend your heater's lifespan. This article will help to improve your water heater troubleshooting skills by discussing two quiet culprits of water heater wear--and how you can keep them at bay.
Too Much Pressure
As far as most people are concerned, the more water pressure in their home, the better--especially when it comes to taking a nice hot morning shower. Yet excessively high water pressure can cause a multitude of plumbing problems. This is especially true for your water heater, which is already having to deal with high temperatures.
Strictly speaking, most water heaters are manufactured with the ability to withstand water pressure of up to 150psi. Don't get the wrong idea, though--that kind of pressure will soon cause a heater to fail. In fact, any water pressure greater than 80psi will soon begin to take its toll on your water heater. Leaks, stress fractures, and damaged anodes aren't far behind.
The good news is that you can easily monitor the pressure inside of your water heater by means of an inexpensive water pressure gauge. This simple device screws onto the threaded outlet at the bottom of the tank. Once the gauge is securely in place, open up the valve. The gauge should display a more or less instant reading.
If you consistently get readings of 80psi or higher, contact a plumber to help get your water pressure into lower territory. You might also consider investing in a so-called expansion tank, which acts to receive hot water from your heater when the pressure gets too high. This helps to bring the pressure back down into safe territory.
Nearby Cleaning Supplies
If your home is equipped with a gas powered water heater, it may be suffering unnecessary wear and tear if you happen to keep bleach and other chlorine based cleaning supplies stored nearby. Now matter how tightly capped the plastic bottles of such cleaning agents are, they will continue to give off trace amounts of gases as time goes on.
In order to provide the oxygen necessary for combustion, a gas water heater must draw in air from the surrounding room. The off-gassing fumes from cleaning supplies can lead to problems as it is sucked into the heater along with the rest of the air. The problem has to do with what happens when those fumes enter the combustion chamber and are burned up.
Combustion acts to liberate the chlorine molecules from those gases. These molecules are then free to recombine with water vapor in a reaction that leads to the formation of hydrochloric acid. This destructive acid will soon begin eating away at the steel walls of the tank, leading to rust and corrosion at an unparalleled rate.
Here the solution is simple: move your cleaning supplies to a different location. Your best bet is to remove them from the room with your water heater entirely. This should to ensure that the air entering the heater is free from chlorine containing gases.
When it comes to keeping your water heater in prime working condition, nobody knows more than an experienced water tank supply company. They will possess the kinds of knowledge that can only come with decades of experience. For more information about keeping your water heater working the way it should, feel free to contact the experts at Termine's Pipe & Plumbing Supply.