Your water heater is the brain center of your water system in the home. When the water heater is on the fritz you cannot take showers or baths, your washer is affected, the dishwasher and so much more. The water heater is one of those appliances that no one really thinks about until something goes wrong with it. That means that you might not even notice that something is wrong until the water heater goes out entirely.
Water Heater Maintenance
With an old water heater, the odds that it is going to go out are much higher than newer models. There are some things you can watch for that might help you catch the issue before the water heater goes out entirely. The first thing to note is that a water heater should be silent. If you hear it making a hissing noise, rattling noise, or any other noise for that matter, you may be dealing with a water heater that is in trouble.
Rattling may indicate that there is silt or other debris in the bottom of the water heater. You should fully drain your water heater to get rid of the dirt and debris that is at the bottom of the tank at least once a year. Water heaters tend to lose heat when a home is very cold as well. To put things into perspective, the water in a water heater is always hot. A water heater is made up of a tank, a heating element, and a thermostat.
The thermostat measures the temperature of the water and turns the heating element on and off as needed. The water in the tank is always hot and if the exterior of the tank gets very cold, it can lose heat and the water can get colder, which in turn makes the heating element kick in and wastes energy. You can get water heater blankets that help to further insulate the water heater and keep the tank from losing heat.
Water Heater Not Working?
If you are dealing with a water heater that has gone out entirely or that is not working at all, the best thing to do is to call a professional who is going to be able to help you figure out what the problem is. A typical water heater can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years or longer if it is well taken care of.
You can replace some parts of the water heater if they go bad to get the heater working again. The thermostat, element, and piping into the tank can all be replaced if needed. If you have a water heater that is very damaged or that is not working properly, it is always best to get a professional to come and help you install a new water heater or repair the one that you have.