Water Heater Failure Inspection Points

Water heater failure usually comes at the hand of corrosion or burnout, but the cause of the problem may be deeper than first expected. By analyzing a few failure points and looking for the possible causes, you can get your hot water running properly and avoid future breakdowns from the same problem.

Corrosion And Rust From Water Quality Changes

Most water heater and tank systems are made from steel or copper. An anode is installed to prevent rust, but these anodes can fail if damaged or if the water quality changes dramatically.

Anodes can be damaged or dislodged over time due to natural wear and tear, but external damage is often a culprit. Maintenance, moving items around for storage or other activity in the water heater area can knock around the water heater's tank, weakening aged anodes and leading to a gradual rust problem.

The same problem can happen if caustic materials are introduced to the water supply. This could come from changes in local water purification processes or--specifically for coastal communities--a failure in salt water filter processes.

Rust can cause a gradual loss of heat, resulting in long heating times. If the rusting or corrosion becomes bad enough, you may have a gradual leak that causes water to constantly fill and slowly cool due to the constant introduction of cool water.

It's possible to weld a steel patch over these damaged tanks, but if you're dealing with internal rust, it's best to have a water heater replacement specialist bring in a new tank. It can protect your water quality and may feature better tank lining, more secure anodes and an easier set of maintenance points

Electrical Failure From Hot Situations

For electrical water heaters, your heating relies on a precision set of wires that are designed to send signals for turning heat on and off on demand. To maintain a specific temperature and save energy when not in use, a programmed circuit board is often used by reliable water heater brands.

Because the water heater is a heat-generating device, it is at an especially high risk of damaging wires. The wiring is usually encased for protection more than most electronic devices, but time can eventually melt away the protective coating around the wires.

Contact a water heater replacement expert like Marv's Plumbing to find the proper replacement for any burned out control boxes or regulators. Depending on the model, you may be better off replacing the specific part rather than getting an entirely new unit.