Prevent Water Heater Leaks to Avoid Water Damage inside a Home
It is easy to forget about a water heater that is hidden away in a basement or utility closet. However, when you are ready to wash a sink filled with dirty dishes and there are is only ice-cold water, you realize how long you have ignored this important home appliance. As a homeowner, you need to have a regular maintenance plan to inspect the plumbing fixtures in a home, including a water heater.
One: Perform a Water Heater Inspection at Least Once a Month
You need to inspect a home’s water heater at least once a month to make sure the appliance has not developed a small leak. Moisture leaks can begin from a water heater near the intake pipes, corroded valves or underneath the holding tank. There is a good chance that a water heater is difficult to see in a dark utility closet or basement, so grab a bright flashlight to take along to look at all of the appliance’s components. Don’t forget to inspect the drywall and floors near the water heater to see if there are water spots that indicate a slow leak is occurring.
Two: Check the Water Heater’s Thermostat
While inspecting a home’s water heater, check the temperature on its thermostat to determine if the temperature is appropriate for bathing and showering. Setting a thermostat too high creates extremely hot water that can burn people when it flows from faucets. If you have noticed that the thermostat is set at the proper temperature, but the water is too hot, then this indicates a thermostat is defective. A defective thermostat can lead to boiling hot water that causes a water heater to explode, creating a situation where a home is flooded and damaged by moisture.
Three: Prevent Frozen Intake Pipes
If your home’s basement or utility closet is cold in the winter when temperatures drop, then it is possible for a water heater’s intake pipes to freeze. When these pipes burst, water enters a home’s wall spaces to damage drywall, electrical wiring and insulation layers. To prevent frozen intake pipes, make sure that warm climate-controlled air can circulate around the water heater. When a water heater is in good condition, use a specialized insulating blanket to keep the appliance warmer to prevent frozen pipes.
Four: Drain Sediments from the Water Heater’s Holding Tank
The hard sediments in water will remain in a water heater’s holding tank, reducing the amount of hot water while corroding the appliance’s metal. Experts recommend draining the sediments from a water heater at least once a year. This involves turning off the water heater’s power according to the manufacturer’s directions before using a garden hose to drain the water and sediments. You can drain the sediments and water to an outside area of your home or into large buckets for disposal.
Five: Professional Maintenance from a Plumber
Homeowners should contact a plumber once a year to provide preventative maintenance to a home’s plumbing fixtures, including a water heater. A plumber may find a problem with a water heater that you did not notice and is able to recommend a repair to the appliance or the installation of a new appliance. Water heaters typically last for 10 to 15 years, and it is better to replace the appliance as it degrades rather than waiting until it leaks moisture.