Your water heater plays a very important role in your home. Not only do you depend on a properly functioning water heater to provide hot water for your shower, but you also depend on it for your washing machine and your dishwasher.
When your water heater doesn't work like it's supposed to, it's not just a mere annoyance. A defective water heater can have some pretty serious ramifications. When your water heater is defective, you need to be aware of these four negative consequences.
1. Erratic Water Temperatures
One of the dangers of a dysfunctional water heater is that it can cause erratic and sudden changes to the water temperature. This happens when water doesn't get warmed up properly and quickly becomes too hot, sometimes on very short notice. Scalding water not only causes serious injury, but it can also be fatal. In fact, 34 people die each year as a result of tap water that is too hot.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), water heaters should be set to 120 degrees F. This is the recommended temperature so that the risk of injuries sustained due to scalding tap water can be reduced. All it takes for an adult to receive a third-degree burn is to get exposed to 150-degree water for two seconds.
2. Water Heater Backdrafting
Defective water heaters can cause a dangerous phenomenon called backdrafting. This occurs when gases that are emitted from the water heater do not get vented properly and the invisible gases end up going back into the atmosphere of your home.
These gases are very harmful, and because they may be difficult to detect, backdrafting could end up affecting anyone living inside the home. If you have a bad water heater, you need to watch out for signs of backdrafting.
Some signs of backdrafting include:
- The plastic elements at the top of the water heater are melted
- The valves on the water heater show signs of corrosion
- The top of the water heater tank contains a buildup of condensation
These are just some ways backdrafting can be detected due to a water heater that is not functioning properly.
If your water heater isn't installed properly, the results could be disastrous. Improperly installed water heaters increase the risk of corroded gas connections, electrical shorts, and gas leaks, all of which can lead to a disastrous water tank explosion.
Another thing that has the potential to cause an explosion is when the pressure relief valve isn't able to prevent excess pressure from building up in the water heater tank. You can test your pressure relief valve by lifting up the handle on top of the tank and seeing if hot water comes out of the overflow pipe. If no water comes out, it could indicate a problem with the valve.
4. Contaminated Water
If you have a corroded water tank or loose valves, they can cause your water heater to leak. Not only can a leaking water heater cause property damage, but it can also contaminate your water. This is especially true if the leak is near a rusty pipe.
The water that gets exposed to the rust can absorb the rust, along with bacteria, and when it gets distributed through your water heater, it can cause your water to become contaminated.
Your water heater could be defective if you notice that your household doesn't have enough hot water, the water coming out of your tap looks cloudy or smells weird, or you hear banging noises coming from the tank.
If you notice any of these signs, don't wait for your defective water heater to cause any negative consequences. Instead, contact our professionals at Termine's Specialty Supply for all your water heater needs.