Photo by Minerva Studio at Shutterstock
Hardly a day goes by where you don’t take advantage of your water heater. Hot water is great for a lot of things, from washing dishes and doing laundry to taking a shower and washing your hands before dinner. When you have no hot water in your Las Vegas, NV, home, it can really throw a wrench in the gears. The good news is, there are only a few different things that can go wrong with your water heater, so keeping up with water heater repair and maintenance is easy as long as you know the basics.
Water Heater Maintenance
Before we get into some of the most common water heater problems and repairs, you need to understand the importance of maintenance. Just like anything, your water heater will last longer and perform better if you take the time to keep up with maintenance every now and then.
The only thing you really need to do in terms of water heater maintenance has the tank flushed out every once in a while. As water cycles through your water heater, it leaves behind a small bit of sediment. Over time, this sediment can build up to the point where it affects heating or causes tank corrosion. Not only does this lead to more frequent water heater replacement, but it can also cause damage to your sacrificial anode rod. If you want to keep your water heater in good shape and avoid spending money on repairs, you should have a plumber flush your water heater at least once every six months or so. This may seem excessive, but it beats spending money on a replacement water heater.
If you have no hot water in your home, there’s a good chance that’s a result of a heating element problem. Modern water heaters contain two heating elements: one upper and one lower. These heating elements are controlled by two separate thermostats to make sure all the water in your water heater stays at a consistent temperature. When one heating element has a problem, you’ll quickly end up with lukewarm water.
The good news about heating elements is that a water heater repair company can replace them in a short amount of time. Not only that, but heating elements aren’t very expensive either. Since you have two heating elements, however, there’s a chance you’ll need to replace both. If you have absolutely no hot water, you probably need two heating elements. If your water is simply lukewarm, one of your heating elements is still working as intended.
As important as the heating elements in your water heater are, they’re not the only thing responsible for delivering hot water to your home. Both heating elements in your water heater are connected to separate thermostats, which is another common cause for water heater repair.
The thermostats in your water heater are responsible for signaling the heating elements to cycle on and off, giving you the optimal water temperature in your home. If one thermostat isn’t working, it can cause similar problems to have a busted heating element.
Because there are two separate thermostats in your water heater, you might want to have them both tested and replaced by your water heater repair company. It could be there was a manufacturing defect or some electrical problem leading to your thermostat failure. In any case, replacing both thermostats and both heating elements should fix a lack of hot water, but you generally won’t have to do all that.
Sacrificial Anode Rod
We talked about how sediment can lead to corrosion that damages your water heater tank, which is why every water heater has built-in protection against corrosion. The sacrificial anode rod inside your water heater is designed to take the bulk of the corrosion instead of the water heater tank, which extends the life of your water heater. However, the sacrificial anode rod in a poorly maintained water heater won’t last long.
Your sacrificial anode rod is exactly why it’s important to have a water heater repair company flush your water heater on a regular basis. The more corrosion this anode rod has to deal with, the quicker it’s going to fail. And when your sacrificial anode rod does fail, all that corrosion will start affecting the tank. This is one of the most important water heater repairs to have done right on time.
If there’s one water heater problem you don’t want to have to deal with, it’s a bad water heater tank. Water heater tanks are fairly thin and susceptible to corrosion, which is why you need to flush your tank occasionally and make sure you have a good sacrificial anode. However, you will still run into water heater tank problems after some time.
When your water heater tank corrodes and begins to leak, there’s not much you can do to fix it. There are some ways to patch a water heater tank, but this is a very temporary fix. This is the reason water heaters only last about 8 to 12 years on average.
If you have a tank problem, your best bet is to skip water heater repair and opt for a replacement unit. While this is going to cost a bit of money, it’s your only real option for fixing major water heater tank damage.
The Help You Need
Nobody wants to be stuck without hot water, especially during the colder seasons. Fortunately, a little maintenance and timely repairs go a long way toward extending the life of your water heater. If you’re in need of water heater repairs, maintenance, or replacement in Las Vegas, NV, Craig’s Plumbing is here to help. Whether you need a new unit or a new heating element, our plumbers can take care of everything. To schedule your next water heater repair or maintenance appointment, call Craig’s Plumbing at 702-780-6385.