Hate Cold Showers? Don't Make These 3 Water Heater Mistakes

March 26, 2018

Cherish your daily hot showers? Well, you might be jeopardizing your precious hot water supply—without even realizing it.

To help you steer clear of what we call the “cold shower shock”, we’ll cover 3 easy-to-make mistakes that can kill your water heater:

  1. Ignoring popping noises
  2. Setting the temperature too high
  3. Not scheduling annual maintenance

Mistake #1: Ignoring “popping” noises

Ever walk by your water heater and notice popping/hissing/knocking noises coming from the tank? Don’t ignore those sounds.

In fact, that’s the sound of your water heater begging for a “flush” (more on that later).

You see, those popping noises are caused by “sediment buildup”. Sediment buildup happens over time as minerals in your home’s water settle to the bottom of your water heater tank. And, as this layer of sediment builds, small pockets of water get trapped between the sediment and the water heater burners/heating elements. That water quickly overheats and turns into steam bubbles that erupt violently (and loudly) from under the sediment piles.

And, if ignored, that sediment layer continuously grows, resulting in:

  • Burnt out heating elements (in electric water heaters)
  • Less and less hot water
  • High energy bills
  • An overheated tank that leaks

Correct this mistake by:

...having a plumber “flush” your water heater on a regular basis. A water heater “flush” involves draining the tank completely, removing the sediment buildup and cleaning all the inner components, then refilling your tank.

Since Sarasota’s water is notoriously “hard” (that is, it contains a high amount of minerals), you’ll want to have your water heater flushed 2 times a year depending on how much hot water you use on a daily basis.

Mistake #2: Setting the temperature too high

You like your showers hot—we get it. But don’t overdo it.

Why? Well, if you set your water heater temperature too high, the pressure inside the tank will rise to dangerous levels.

Now, your water heater has safety features that are designed to warn you about high-pressure levels inside the tank. But those features can, and often do, fail. And when they fail, the inner lining of the tank quickly corrodes due to high water temperatures and will often spring a leak—or worse—the tank will explode (no, this isn’t a myth, it can actually happen!).

Correct this mistake by:

...never setting your water heater’s temperature higher than 120–125° F.

Unfortunately, some water heater manufacturers actually use 140° F as the preset output temperature. This is scary considering it won’t only kill your water heater, it can also cause scalding!

The good news is that lowering the water heater’s temperature prevents the risk of burning/scalding, is easy to do and will save you 3–5% on water heating costs. Just follow the directions here on how to lower a water heater’s temperature.

Mistake #3: Not scheduling annual maintenance

Your water heater needs some TLC (maintenance) at least once a year to keep repairs at bay and your hot showers plentiful.

If neglected, your water heater is at a very high risk of the following hot-water-killing problems:

  • Sediment buildup
  • Overheating
  • Corrosion
  • Leaking

And the worst part? If you haven’t had your water heater maintained regularly and now have water heater problems, any repairs will be out of pocket because not maintaining your water heater voids the warranty.

Correct this mistake by:

...scheduling professional maintenance 1–2 times a year depending on your water usage.

You see, during a water heater maintenance visit, our plumbers will:

  • Flush the water heater
  • Check the system for gas/water leaks
  • Make sure all safety mechanisms are working properly
  • Check and replace the anode rod (if needed)
  • And more...

Need to schedule your water heater maintenance?

Just contact us.

We’ll send over a skilled plumber who will get your water heater up to speed (and ensure hot showers for days).

And while you’re at it—check out our affordable and comprehensive plumbing maintenance plans, starting at just $16/month!

Posted in: Tips

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