Whenever water is being heated up, the calcium carbonate that is present in water gets precipitated and then settles down. Every time this happens inside your water heater, it results to a buildup of sediments inside the water tank. If there are other small particles present in the water, it can also add to the buildup that is present inside the tank.
The buildup of sediments is naturally a very slow-paced process, but if you live in an area where the water is categorized as very hard, then your water heater will most likely have the tendency to get filled up with unwanted sediments in a short time. If your water heater is bombarded with sediments, you will surely do not get adequate hot water flow or you might even have difficulty in getting the temperature you want. The best solution for this sediment buildup problem is to have the water heater flushed out regularly.
Another well-known common problem with water heaters, whether they are powered via electricity or gas, is that they might run out of hot water quickly or only supplying warm water. This problem may be caused by a broken or leaking dip tube, or a burned out heating element. The dip tube is a small plastic tube that lets cold water flow into the tank’s bottom. If the dip tube is broken, the cold and hot water will mix and you will only get to have warm water. This problem can be fixed easily and quickly by having the dip tube replaced. However, if your water heater has a thermostat that is defective or the heating element has burned out, then you might need to spend more on repairs or to have it completely replaced.
A major and common problem with water heaters is called pressure buildup. When water becomes heated inside the heater, the water expands. All water heaters have a pressure-reducing valve or check valve to let the pressure be released to prevent it from building up. If in case this valve is blocked, then the pressure will rise quickly. If left unchecked, the pressure will build up and it may rise to a level that shall cause the water heater to suddenly burst. In order to control this pressure, you can have a thermal expansion tank or a temperature pressure valve installed on your inlet line. This will allow the pressure to be released without any problems. The temperature pressure valve is a device that is sensitive enough to detect pressure buildup and it can last for about 2 years. If your water heater has this kind of valve, you need to have it checked and replaced occasionally.
Water heaters are electrical and mechanical devices which can develop problems over time. Most water heater-related problems are minor and can be avoided by taking precautions. Other problems are just normal and are brought about by using the water heater each day. You can enjoy having a water heater that runs without any problems and at the same time have it for many years as long as you understand how to maintain it and take care of it.