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Leading Causes of Hot Water Heater Failure During a Spike in Temperature

22 February 2023

The need for hot water soars through the roof whenever the temperature drops suddenly. Everyone in the house prefers to wash, clean, and bathe with hot water. Your water heater must work harder and longer to meet this constant need. Sedimentation and heating element fatigue are more likely to occur in larger volumes of water. The main reasons for water heater failure in below-freezing conditions are examined in further detail in this article, along with methods for diagnosing and avoiding problems in the future.

Sediment Accumulation

All water sources and reservoirs are prone to contamination from insoluble particles, including rust (metals), sand, salt, silt, plastics, and mineral substances like decomposing plants and animals. The sediment builds up in your tank over time and clings to the heating element, insulating it. The element loses effectiveness when submerged, which results in less hot water.

Water Leakage

Less water will be delivered by leaking pipes, lowering the pressure in the pipes and faucets. Additionally, there is a chance that solid and chemical impurities will infiltrate the water delivery system through gaps. Water leakage is a concern to both the water heater and the user because it can short-circuit the water heater, resulting in electrocution injuries or fatalities and starting a house and property fire. Worst of all, a lack of water will make the heater work harder, making it inefficient.

Thermostat Failure

Your water heater likely includes two thermostats, an upper and a lower thermostat, if the tank has a minimum water capacity of 30 litres. The water heating element is powered by the thermostat, which operates automatically. When the temperature has been reached, it also switches off.  At the top of the water tank is the pipe that supplies water to your showerhead or kitchen cistern. Therefore, the top thermostat normally turns on first. Cold water enters through the bottom intake while hot water exits through the top outlet of the tank to keep the flow going. The lower thermostat activates the lower element if the upper element cannot maintain the desired temperature on its own.

How to Prevent a Hot Water Heater Failure in The Future?

• Keep The Water Flowing – To reduce sedimentation and corrosion when the heater isn’t used for extended periods, use a recirculation system or keep the flow at a trickle.

• Install Solenoid Valves – When there is an energy outage, the valves automatically open and flush out the water from your water heating unit, keeping it dry and free of rust.

• Never Use Plastic Pipes Near the Heater – The area within and around the heater is hot enough to melt or deform plastic pipes, which would negatively impact water flow and cause leaks.

• Do Regular Maintenance – To maintain your water heater operating at its best, have a reliable plumber inspect it yearly and provide recommendations for repairs, improvements, and replacements.

Call your water provider whenever there is a decrease in the water supply coming into your home to find out if it is a scheduled issue. If not, check your home’s pipes for leaks and call a plumber to fix any that you find.

L&C Harding Plumbing Pty Ltd can cover all your plumbing needs. Don’t let plumbing issues hold back your daily task. Call us today on 1800 426 664 if you require any plumbing services in Melbourne. We are always ready to assist you!

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