Photo By skhoward at istock
Frequently, homeowners neglect water heater repair and maintenance until it's too late. Though it may seem like an annoying inconvenience, water heater failure can cause considerable damage to your home in Richmond, TX.
Typically located in out-of-the-way spaces like basements, garages, or small utility closets water heaters tend to be ignored. But you can avoid an unexpected water heater repair or replacement by looking at these possible indicators:
- Age: Located on the top of the water heater is the manufacturer's label, which tells you when it was made, among other things. Most water heater makers recommend replacement every eight to twelve years, depending on the type and where it's positioned. Usage also affects it, so if you have a particularly large family, or if your family is partial to long showers, this may affect its lifespan. If you've got an older water heater, it's a good idea to have a professional inspect it.
- Leaks: These can occur insider your water tank as well as around weakened pipes or fittings. Check the pipes and fittings, ensuring these are tight, and if water still collects around the tank, it's time to call in water heater repair professionals.
- Rumbling or sizzling: Sediment builds up and settles at the bottom of your water heater's tank, which then hardens. When heated, this sediment causes these noises to occur. Besides the noise, this sediment inside your heater's tank makes it work harder, requiring more time and energy to heat the water in it. It can also cause the metal to become brittle, crack, and even develop tiny holes, which can lead to your water tank bursting. To prevent such disasters, it's important to regularly call out a water heater maintenance expert.
- Rust-colored water: If your hot water has a reddish tinge, or if your water smells or tastes metallic, this could signal that the inside of your water heater or your pipes are rusting. To check this further, drain about 15 gallons from your heater, and if it's not running clear after that, it's a sign of rust developing insider the unit.
- Water runs warm rather than hot: For electric water heaters, this can mean the heating element is about to fail. For gas heaters, ensure the pilot light and gas is on. You'll also want to make sure that the thermocouple – essentially a type of thermometer that gauges the temperature of water in the heater – is functioning properly. Both types of heaters should be set between 120°F to 140°F, and if the water temperature doesn't reach at least the bottom of that range, it's probably time to call a water heater repair and maintenance technician.
Water Heater Failures
Ice-cold showers will wake you up, but they're definitely not pleasant for homeowners inRichmond, TX. Hot water and other problems can be easily dealt with by water heater repair professionals. But what happens when water heaters fail?
We identified certain problems that cause burst water heaters, which water heater repair and maintenance technicians are trained to note, but other things can fail as well. A malfunctioning thermostat can make the element overheat the tank's water, which then over-expands until the tank's seams fail to contain it. Or a fitting may have corroded, causing it to leak. Whatever the cause, you need to handle the situation immediately before it does more damage to your home.
Turn Off Water
Find the pipe that supplies cold water, which leads from the water main into the top of your water heater. When this works properly, the water will stop flowing once the tank is full. Once the tank has burst, however, it empties water out, causing considerable damage to your home. Turn the cold-water supply line clockwise until it won't turn any further. This stops the water and keeps any more water from spilling out of the tank.
Shut Off Power
Regardless of whether you've got a gas or electric element heating your home, it poses a hazard if you keep it running. Besides wasting energy, it can also start a fire. The heating element normally shuts down automatically, but if your water heater burst because of a faulty thermostat, it probably won't react properly. Find and flip the breaker that controls your water heater for an electric heater, or shut off the gas line if it's gas-powered. For heaters that run on natural gas, vacate your home until that rotten egg smell is totally gone.
Cleaning Up & Making an Insurance Claim
Remove everything salvageable you can from the water-damaged area. Take photos of damaged items, walls, floors, ceilings, and any other parts of your home that were affected by the burst heater. These photos will help you claim from your homeowner's insurance policy and help your insurer determine the cost to replace or repair your personal items and home.
Try as best as possible to remove the standing water. A wet and dry vacuum cleaner works best for this, and can help remove water from carpets into which water seeped. To inhibit mold or mildew growth after the incident, run a dehumidifier.
Regardless of whether you think you've suffered a loss, you should contact your insurance company. They will likely send out experts to determine how much it will cost to restore your home. Don't throw away your hot water tank before they come, as the adjuster needs to see this to determine the cause and ensure the incident is covered by your policy. Show the adjuster the photos you took, and answer their questions. It's unlikely the water heater itself will be covered, but nearly everything else should be, less any deductible.
Water Heater Repair or Replacement
When a heater tank bursts in Richmond, TX water heater repair becomes a non sequitur. You need a replacement. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® can effectively handle replacing your water heater, competently installing a new one. Our well-trained plumbing professionals guarantee all parts and labor, giving you a two-year guarantee on our craftmanship.
Call us now for all your water heater repair or replacement needs at (281) 616-3978. We're available 24 hours per day for all plumbing emergencies!