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Why Water Heaters Fail: 5 Reasons

water heater service massachusettsThe average storage-type water heater will last anywhere from eight to 12 years. Why so short, and is there any way to slow its demise? Here are some insights from our water heater experts.

Common Causes Of Water Heater Problems

When it comes to longevity, water heaters face an uphill battle. Here are five problems your water heater will likely face at some point in its lifespan, and what you can do to prevent them – or at least slow them down:

  • Corrosion – Water and steel don’t get along very well over time – which is why water heater designers have had to get pretty creative when designing equipment. The good news is that they found an ingenious way to slow the corrosive effect of water, using a small device called an anode rod. An anode rod is typically a steel core wire surrounded with either aluminum, magnesium or zinc, and it functions by drawing corrosive elements of the water toward itself rather than the tank’s steel walls.

    An anode rod will typically last about five years – less if you use a water softener. Once an anode rod is “spent”, it needs to be replaced quickly, or your tank will have no defense against corrosion.

    Tip: Get regular professional maintenance for your water heater at least once every other year, and make sure the technician checks the anode rod.

  • Sediment build-up – When water is heated, mineral deposits separate and settle onto the bottom of your water heater tank. Over time, these sediments accumulate, reducing the efficiency of your water heater and eventually damaging the tank and burner.

    Solution: Flush your water heater at least once – preferably twice – a year. Here’s a video to show you how to do it.

  • Age – A water heater in its second decade is living on borrowed time. Watch for signs of water heater breakdown mentioned above, plus any other obvious signs of diminished performance (higher energy bills and leaks, for example).

    Solution: Maintain your water heater to stave off the impact of aging equipment. If your water heater is at the end of its life span, consider replacing it with a reliable new high efficiency water heater upgrade.

How On-Demand Water Heaters Help Avoid Issues

As you can see, many of the problems that shorten the lifespan of a water heater arise from the fact that it stores heated water for later use. But what it didn’t have to?

A modern on-demand water heater eliminates the need for and complications resulting from a storage tank by heating water for your taps and appliances instantly, the moment you need it. It also provides a nearly unlimited supply of hot water, reduces your energy bills by 30 percent or more, and lasts significantly longer than a conventional water heater (about 16 to 18 years on average).

Having problems with your water heater? Don’t delay – contact the pros at Tom Fricker for expert advice on water heater maintenance, water heater repairs, and on-demand water heater installations in Bristol, Worcester, Middlesex and Norfolk counties!

mail Contact us today to schedule a routine maintenance visit . If you need an emergency repair, please call our office right away at 508-507-6702, and we will get to your home as soon as we can.