Water damage in your Pittsburgh home can be caused by multiple sources – malfunctioning appliances being one of the most common. The one household appliance that can cause the most damage is the water heater. Conventional water heater tanks house a reservoir between 20 and 80 gallons of hot water. Once the hot water tap is turned on and hot water leaves the top of the tank, cold water immediately enters through the bottom of the tank to ensure that the reservoir of water is always full. Because of the device’s ability to constantly refill itself, water will continually flow into your home if the tank leaks. Here is what you need to be aware of to prevent and recognize leakage in the first place and respond quickly if water damage does occur.
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First, you need to know what causes water heater tanks to leak if you want to be able to be proactive about preventing it from happening. Water leakage around the base of the water heater tank can be caused by a couple different reasons. Some of the most common causes are:
Loose heating element
Corrosion in the tank
Leaks from a nearby plumbing connection
Excessive pressure buildup
Faulty temperature relief valve
To avoid leaks caused by poor connections, loose valves, or the actual tank itself, the US Department of Energy recommends routine maintenance on water heaters. To keep your water heater operating properly and efficiently, some maintenance procedures that need to be performed are:
Flush a quart of water from the storage tank every 3 months
When water sits in the tank too long, it can begin to build up materials. This build up can lead to corrosion inside the tank, which can cause the tank to spring a leak. By flushing water through the storage tank regularly, you can help prevent corrosion.
Check the pressure and temperature valve at least every 6 months
When pressure builds up inside the tank because of excessive temperature, it will cause unnecessary strain. After so long, that pressure will need a way out, and will cause leaks. Pressure and temperature valves will help to catch changes in temperature that will cause pressure to increase, and also detect excessive pressure levels so that they can be taken care of before they cause leaks.
Inspect the anode rod every 3 to 4 years
The anode rod is a huge factor in extending the life of your water heater. An anode rod is a steel core wire surrounded with aluminum, magnesium, or zinc. The rod is screwed into the top of your water heater tank, and is designed to corrode in place of your water heater lining. Over time, the rod will become completely corroded, and then it will no longer be able to protect your water heater tank. The average rod lasts between 4-5 years, but if you replace it every 3-4 years you can prevent excess corrosion and exposure. Without replacing the anode rod, you risk rusting inside your water heater, which will likely lead to a leak.
Install an automatic water shut off valve
To prevent major flooding from the water heater, the automatic water shut off valve will be able to detect the presence of water beneath the water heater and shut off the water supply before there is extensive water damage.
While there is no way to guarantee that your water heater won’t ever cause water damage, there is one thing you can be sure of – G.S Jones will be there to offer water damage services for you and your home in your time of need. So whether your water damage comes from the water heater, or any other source, call G.S. Jones.
G.S. Jones operates as a family-owned business with the guiding principles of ethics, quality, and a sound cost-conscious approach.