3 Things That Could Cause Your Water Heater to Burst

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

burst water heater
Oh, joy. Our hot water heater ruptured. flickr photo by EgoAnt shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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.

Rust Corrosion

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 though, though, it’s a fairly common problem. If you need a new water heater in Hagerstown, Larry & Sons can help. Contact us today.

4 Signs You Should Buy a New Water Heater

Every day, we depend on our water heaters for so many things. From washing our clothes and dishes to providing a relaxing hot shower at the end of a long day, we expect a lot from our water heaters. Unfortunately, many homeowners take their heaters for granted and don’t give them much thought until they stop working completely.

At Larry & Sons, we’re here to help when you’re experiencing water heater problems, and we can help you determine whether you should repair or replace your system.

While water heater repair is an effective solution in some cases, in many others, it’s best to invest in a replacement. If you think it might be time to replace your water heater, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Signs You Should Get a New Water Heater

Water Heater Replacement
Do you need a new water heater? Here are a few signs!
  • Your water heater is old. Even if you purchased a top-of-the-line water heater, it won’t last forever. In fact, tankless water heaters are only built to last 20 years at most, while conventional heaters with storage tanks only last eight to 12. If your water heater is nearing the end of it’s expected lifespan, you may want to consider buying a new one.
  • You’re noticing higher energy bills. As your water heater ages, it becomes less efficient. If your energy bills have been climbing and you have an older water heater, up to 25 percent of your bill could be related to the cost of heating your water. Upgrading to a newer unit could save you a bundle.
  • You’re running out of hot water faster than you used to. Sediment builds up in water heaters over time, decreasing the amount of water they can heat and store. If your showers are being cut short because you’re running out of hot water, it’s time for a new heater.
  • Your heater has visible signs of damage. Leaks below your water heater and rust are definite signs that your system is nearing the end of its life. Inspect your heater regularly, and if you notice either of these things, you might want to consider buying a new unit before yours fails. You may also want to consider upgrading if you’ve been having problems and needing frequent water heater repair.

New Water Heater in Hagerstown

If you need a new water heater in Hagerstown or the surrounding areas, count on Larry & Sons. Our certified plumbers are here to help you choose the heater that best suits your family’s needs, and they’ll install it promptly at a time that fits your schedule. For professional water heater replacement, call Larry & Sons now at 301-733-5428.

Hagerstown Plumbing Advice: What You Need to Know About Water Heater Leaks

A leak in your Hagerstown water heater can be a big or small problem depending on where the leak is, how severe it is and whether it requires repair or replacement. Here are some things you should know about water heater leaks that will help you determine who to call and how to act.

 Where Is the Leak?

Step one is to determine where the water is coming from. Look for leaks around the fittings and valves attached to the device. If one of them is loose or if you see water dripping from a connection, it can probably be fixed relatively easily. However, if the leak is coming from the body of the water heater, you may have a ruptured tank which is a sure sign of a bad water heater that needs to be replaced.

 Draining Your Tank

Once you identify the leak, turn off the water supply to the tank and prepare to drain it the rest of the way. You should also disconnect the power from the device. If the water heater is gas, I recommend you call a Hagerstown plumber who is certified to work on gas appliances. For electric water heaters, you may still want a professional, but the next step here is to simply turn off the breaker to stop electricity from flowing to the device.

Drain the tank next, using the bucket to capture the water as it is released. If you have a floor drain and can angle the tank over the drain, go ahead and do that now. Once the tank is empty, it is time to tighten your fittings.

 Fixing the Problem

Assuming this is a fittings or valve problem, loosen any fittings that appeared to have leaked, repair the plumbing thread and retape the pipes, finally tightening the fittings back into place. The pressure valve may need to be replaced as well – do this now if it is necessary.

Before reapplying the electricity to the water heater, reattach the water supply and turn it on to check for leaks. If it holds water, you are lucky and your water heater’s tank isn’t leaking. Reattach everything and turn it back on.

If you notice the leak continues, you should call Larry & Sons as it is likely the glass inside your tank has cracked or is leaking. Most of the time, this cannot be repaired and means you need a new water heater installed.