The hot water heater is often taken for granted by modern families. It isn't until there is no hot water coming from the taps that most homeowners take notice of the water heater. If you want to have a reliable supply of hot water in the future, you need to monitor your water heater for problems regularly.
Some types of problems tend to be more common, so monitoring for these prevalent problems can be a great place to start when trying to better maintain your water heater.
1. A Broken Dip Tube
"Dip tube" is a quirky name for the pipe that carries fresh water into your water heater. Cold water delivered through your municipal plumbing system (or residential well) passes through the dip tube, which extends all the way to the bottom of the water heater's tank.
The heating element is located at the bottom of the tank, and heated water rises as the cold water emptied by the dip tube displaces it. A broken dip tube can prevent cold water from reaching the bottom of the tank.
You could notice a significant decrease in water temperature when the dip tube is damaged. It's important that you check for a broken dip tube often and replace the damaged tube as quickly as possible.
2. A Dirty Burner
Most residential water heaters are fueled by natural gas. The gas is fed through a burner, where it ignites and helps to create the thermal energy needed to heat your water supply. A dirty burner could leave your water heater starved for fuel.
Dirt, debris, or corrosion that affects the burner could restrict the flow of natural gas being fed to your water heater. Only an experienced plumber should be trusted to clean or replace a faulty burner, but you can conduct a visual inspection for signs of debris so you know when to call for professional help.
3. A Corroded Tank
The tank on your water heater is made of metal. This means that it is susceptible to corrosion over time. A sacrificial anode is used to help protect the tank against the damage corrosion can cause.
The anode is inserted into the water tank. Any corrosive elements that would typically attack the interior walls of the tank will attack the anode instead. This protective measure only works if you are monitoring the condition of the sacrificial anode often.
Replace the anode when it starts to show signs of wear so that you can protect your water heater against tank corrosion in the future.
To learn more about water heater repair, contact a plumbing company in your area like Arnold & Sons Plumbing, Sewer & Drain Services.