3 Common Causes of Premature Water Heater Failure
All parts of your home have an expected lifespan. Some things, like your carpet, have a shorter lifespan, while others, like your roof, are meant to last for decades. Your water heater is no different. It will typically last between 8 and 12 years, depending on your type and how you care for it. But certain things can shorten that lifespan pretty significantly. Keep reading to learn three common causes of premature water heater failure.
The tank in your water heater can rust just like any other metal. But to delay the onset of rust and prolong the water heater’s life, parts called sacrificial anodes are built into it. These anode rods essentially take the hit (hence the name “sacrificial”) and rust instead of allowing rust to develop in the tank.
Unfortunately, anode rods don’t last as long as your water heater itself. They’ll typically last a few years, but you should inspect them every year to see if they’re in good shape. If they look worn out, replace them to keep protecting your tank from rust.
As your tank heats up your water, the minerals in it separate and settle to the bottom of the tank. Over time, this sediment builds up, which can have two effects on your water heater:
- It creates a barrier between the heating elements at the tank’s base and the water inside it, making it more difficult to heat the water.
- The sediment takes up space inside the tank, effectively reducing your tank’s size and limiting your hot water supply.
While the second effect is undoubtedly annoying, the former one is more likely to have a direct impact on your water heater’s lifespan. The harder your water heater has to work to heat the water inside of it, the faster it’s going to wear out. To prevent this buildup (and its side effects), make sure to flush your water heater once a year.
Wrong Size Water Heater
Speaking of overworking your water heater, another surefire way to do that is to get a water heater that is simply too small to meet your family’s needs. If the tank isn’t large enough to store the hot water you need, your heater will constantly be working to heat more water, essentially running nonstop throughout the day. This will drive it into the ground much earlier than it should, and you’ll be replacing it far sooner than you would like.
The only solution is to replace it with a new hot water heater in Sacramento, CA. That’s an appropriate size. Not only will a properly sized one last longer, but you’ll be a lot less likely to run out of hot water in the middle of a shower—and that’s a benefit your entire family can get behind.