According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, a ruptured water tank is one of the top five causes of residential water damage. These incidents cost an average of $4,444 after the deductible is paid. A ruptured water heater may not be one of your top concerns, but it is actually one of the most common types of system failure. Is your water heater at risk of bursting? Here are three things that could cause your water heater to burst.
Sediment Build Up
Over time, minerals from hard water build up and settle in the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment insulates the water from the burner or heating element, forcing it to work harder to heat the water. This often results in overheating that can deteriorate the tank.
If your water heater makes a knocking or popping sound, you have a sediment problem. Prevent this issue from draining and flushing the tank annually.
Conventional water heater tanks are made of steel, and steel eventually rusts. While water heaters feature a sacrificial anode rod that helps protect the system from rust, these rods eventually deteriorate. When that happens, the tank starts to rust soon after.
If your hot water has a brownish tint, the tank is likely rusting on the inside. Pay attention to the anode rod, and replace it if it becomes too worn down. Inspect the tank regularly for external rust, and look for small leaks that could indicate pinholes.
Excessive Internal Pressure
If too much pressure builds up inside your water heater, it will eventually burst. Water heaters feature a temperature and pressure relief valve, but over the years, the pressure can still wear down your tank.
If the T&P valve frequently opens or starts leaking, you likely have a pressure problem. Pressure tends to build when the temperature is set too high, so make sure your water heater is only set to 120 – 125 degrees.
New Water Heater in Hagerstown
A burst water tank is a plumbing nightmare that no homeowner wants to face. Since most people don’t give their water heaters much thought, though it’s a fairly common problem. If you need a new water heater in Hagerstown, Larry & Sons can help. Contact us today.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s new water heater regulations go into effect this April 16, 2015!
What this means for you depends, but we do know that after April 16th, water heater manufacturer prices will increase $100-$200 and the stricter installation requirements will increase your upfront costs even more.
The graph below shows us that the new water heater regulations will mostly affect larger gas and electric models. If you already have a solar, tankless, or small water heater, these new regulations won’t affect you as much. In fact, your water heater might already meet these new standards.
The larger gas and electric water heaters (greater than 55 gallons) will need to significantly increase their Energy Factor (EF) in order to comply with the U.S. DOE’s Final Rule.
Starting April 16th, all new water heaters will need to be made more efficient and installed in a specific way. Manufacturer prices could increase upwards of 30%, raising the cost of your new, larger, energy efficient water heater over $200.
New requirements, such as vent piping and possible relocating, will also increase installation and maintenance costs on the new system.
Basically, the new water heater regulations will increase your home energy efficient (remember, water heating accounts for about 20% of your home’s total energy uses), but the larger upfront costs may offset the savings. Basically, do you want $100 now or 27¢ every day for a year?
So you have two choices:
Buy an older, smaller water heater now and save on all the new, higher upfront costs and avoid having to find a new home for your water heater.
Wait until after April 16th and purchase a larger, more energy efficient water heater and reap the energy efficiency savings over the period of your water heater’s lifespan.
Our recommendation is that if your water heater needs to be replaced soon, save on the upfront costs of the new models and install an older, but still energy efficient model now.
Here are some signs that you water heater needs replacing, courtesy of AngiesList.com:
1. How old is your water heater?
It’s crucial to know the age of your water heater. Find the age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker on the upper portion of the water heater. Generally, most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement.
2. Rusty water
If you discover rusty water coming from your water heater and it only comes from the hot side piping in your home, this can be a sign that your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it may begin to leak soon.
3. Rumbling and noise
As a water heater ages, sediment will build up on the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden. When this happens, you can often hear rumbling or banging sounds coming from the water heater as it is heating up. This is a sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.
4. Water around the water heater
If you notice moisture around your water, you may have a small leak or a fracture in the tank. If your water heater is in a location that will not cause damage if there is a leak, you can wait until it develops a leak before replacing it, but that really is not recommended.
If you do install an older, less energy efficient model, there are some things you can do to increase its energy efficiency, such as lowering the temperature and installing and insulation blanket.
A tankless water heater only operates when water is turned on so that it’s not using any energy when not in use, but just on standby waiting for you to turn on a faucet. The natural or LP tankless heater has up to a 15 year warranty with enough capacity to supply any hot water demand and any size home with proper professional sizing of the tankless unit.
If your Hagerstown water heater is nearing the end of its life expectancy period, you can consider replacing it with a new one, so that you can stop wasting money on your energy bill every month.