It’s happened to all of us. We drag ourselves out of bed in the morning, shuffle to the bathroom, only to have the water come out of the head feel more like the frozen wastes in the north atlantic than a gentle shower. Nothing jolts you awake quite like the failure of a water heater. No need to worry however, there are many things you can do to get your water heater up to snuff in no time.
Clean The Water Heater Out
The very first thing we would recommend doing, is cleaning out your water heater. Sediment can build up on the bottom of your water heater acting like a form of insulation between the water and the heat source. As a result the water doesn’t heat properly, and it remains cold. The best way to eliminate this problem is to remove the sediment from your water heater. There are several different methods for removing sediment from your water heater, such as flushing, and de-scaling. The one method that we would recommend however uses a new tool called the Turbo Tank Cleaner. All of these methods will pull out sediment from the bottom and sides of your water heater, reducing the thickness of the blanket so to speak. This will allow your water heater to become more efficient, and properly heat your water.
Replace The Heating Elements
If you have an electric water heater, replacing the heating elements can be a wonderful solution to your problem. Heating elements frequently burn out in electric water heaters, making it completely impossible to heat the water. If your hot water suddenly stopped, replaced with nothing but cold, this is likely the culprit. Thankfully on most heaters the elements are fairly easily replaced, and can be done on your own. If it’s something you are not comfortable doing, feel free to call a local plumber! They are extremely experienced when it comes to water heaters since one goes out about every 8 years in each household! They would be more than happy to replace the heating element for you at a very reasonable price.
Check the Dip Tube
Another extremely common cause for water heater failure is the breaking of the dip tube. The dip tube is a long plastic tube that extends from the intake valve of the water heater at the top. Down to the bottom just above the heating element. When the dip tube breaks it is most often characterized by intermittent hot and cold water as some of the water emerges from the bottom of the water heater, while other times the newly introduced cold water skims it’s way across the surface and finds its way to the exit tube without being heated.
Because these tubes are made of plastic, over time they become brittle and breakages are not uncommon. These can be a bit trickier to replace and may require a professional hand, not because the old one is difficult to remove, and the new one difficult to install. But simply because when they break, the broken section of the tube floats to the bottom of the tank and can prove to be a real pain in the rear to try to remove.
Replace The Water Heater Entirely
As a last possible option for sure, we would recommend that you replace your water heater entirely. Water heaters over time, and as a result of neglect, will fail. There are a few situations that may require the complete replacing of your water heater. One of those is if your hot water heater simply is too expensive to run anymore. As water heaters age, their energy efficiency has a tendency to decrease dramatically. If your water heater is plain and simple, just too expensive to run, then it may be time to replace it. Other situations that may require a replace is if your water heater has begun to rust.
All water heaters have what is called a sacrificial anode rod to prevent the formation of rust on the important parts of the tank. If the anode rod is not replaced as regularly as it should, then the sides and bottom of the tank can begin to rust from the inside out. This rust progression will slowly trudge on until you are at significant risk of structural failure in your water heater. Structural failure in your water heater is to be avoided if at all possible. Hundreds of gallons of water all over the floor of your home is not recommended by anyone. If you are thinking it may be time to replace your water heater, then please call a professional. The removal and replacement of a water heater can be a difficult and strenuous task. One best suited for those properly trained in it’s procedures.