Water heaters are built for long-term use and most of the times carry on with their job efficiently, without the need for maintenance. But these also develop snags that may need attention as daily routines of a home can suffer drastically without running hot water.
Understanding Water Heaters
The two basic variants in water heaters are gas heaters and electric heaters. Gas heaters heat up the water with the help of a flame, something similar to a cooker in the kitchen. The thermocouple controls fuel supplied to the burner and is ignited by the pilot flame. This kind of heaters usually use different kinds of fossil fuels and efficiently heat up water stored in the tank.
A variant of this is the instant water heater that can be used in places where there is not much requirement for hot water. The electric water heaters use electricity to heat up water stored in the tank. There are two heating elements that are used for this purpose. The more eco-friendly version is the solar heater that uses solar energy for the purpose.
Common Problems and Repairs
Common problems in water heaters arise due to faulty thermocouple, blown fuse, worn out heating element or anode rod etc. Major repairs may be required if the storage tanks develop leaks and this may even warrant replacement of heaters. One important pointer before taking on repairs is to shut off fuel supply to the heater. It is an appliance that uses high voltage electric current and shocks can be nasty. Fossil fuel leak is a serious fire hazard too.
Spares for any kind of water heater are easily available. It is advisable to remove the faulty part and use it to buy the exact replacement. Some basic electrical skills are all that is required to undertake on such repairs. Thermocouples, fuse and heating elements are all available in home improvement stores. It is also advisable to empty the tank while undertaking such repairs. It gives a chance to check the storage tank for leaks as well as clean off any sediment.
One common problem with water heaters is hissing noise while heating. This is due to the presence of sediments that can be a major problem in areas where the water supplied is rich in mineral content. Annual cleaning of the tank with the help of non-corrosive materials is very necessary in such cases. Electric water heaters can develop a foul smell too; this is due to a faulty anode rod. When exposed, this part allows bacterial build up and cleaning the tank is one of the solutions. If completely worn out, replace the anode rod.
The other problem is leakage. Leaks can occur in the pipes that go to and from the water heaters. The outlet pipe from the heater may be insulated and so leaks can go undetected. Inadequate hot water is one of the signs of leak and needs immediate attention. Both gas and electric heaters are provided with a temperature pressure valve.
It regulates the pressure inside the tank with increased temperature and a faulty part can also lead to reduced hot water and even leaks. Water continuously drips from around the valve and the heater cuts off even before reaching the required heating capacity. Replacing the part solves both leakage as well as inadequate heating problem. It even prevents water damage to the walls.
Author Bio: John is an interior designer and a part time writer. He loves to write articles on interior decoration and home improvement. He recommends http://www.allstarplumbingservice.com/ company for water heater problems.