How to Prevent Your Water Heater from Leaking

Nashoba Air and BoilerWorks Water Heaters

What causes your water heater to leak? Want to save hundreds in costly repairs? Corrosive water is the #1 culprit of water heater damage. So how does corrosive water affect your water heater? And how can you save your system?

Corrosive water is water with higher levels of sediment and minerals, “hard water” as some refer to it. Hard water’s mineral content is most commonly formed when water passes through large deposits of limestone, chalk, calcium and magnesium. Homeowners should be aware of sediment buildup in their water heaters. Not only will heating hard water cause sediment buildup in the system, but it will also cause rusting internally in the tank itself. Another important fact for homeowners to understand is that any damage caused by sediment build up may void the warranties for some heaters. That’s why maintaining a clean system is vital to protecting the system.

Did you know? Every water source regardless of well water or town supplied water has some sediment or mineral content.

Steps to preventing sediment build up, the water heaters natural born enemy.

  • The best way to get the most out of your investment is to protect the tank from the source by adding a whole home or a pre-water heater filtration system that will stop or slow the sediment before it enters your tank. These filtration systems can be installed onto the existing piping in your house. They range in pricing from $350 up to $700 and can add years of life to the tank.
  • Second best way to help extend the life is to drain the tank once a year. This will remove the buildup that sits on the bottom of the water heater; and causes the interior of the tank to rust. This is a simple task that Nashoba Air performs at no cost, to every client who has a combination heating & cooling maintenance with us.

Did you know? Water heaters have a sacrificial anode rod built in that will help defend the tank from hard water minerals. This rod is a made of aluminum and attracts the contaminants that enter the tank. It then dissolves them before they cause damage in the tank.

Most water heaters with a six-year warranty have one anode rod. Ten and twelve-year warranty tanks have two. The anode rods over time will dissolve leaving your tank completely unprotected. These rods should be checked every two years and be replaced when needed. If you have a water softener, we recommend you check your anode on a yearly basis.

How to protect your home from water damage

  • Firstly, the best way to protect your house from water damage if your water heater ever does leak; is to add an automated emergency shut off valve to the system. This valve will stop the water flow to the unit if it detects a leak. The switch can be expensive to install but can also save you thousands of dollars in repairs to your home.
  • Secondly, a simpler method to help contain a leak; would be to install a secondary drain pan under the water heater. Then adding a wet switch alarm. The alarm will make a loud audible sound if the water heater leaks giving you time to shut off the cold water feed.

The front line to prevent water heater damage most homeowners do not realize is diligence and annual maintenance. The main cause of a water heater leak is neglect. Set a schedule to check your water heater from time to time, to ensure that there is no leak coming from the heater. People often think after replacing their water heater because it’s new it will not have any issues. Remember all water has levels of sediment.

Proper maintenance of your water heater is the right solution to prevent corrosive water from damaging your home and water system. If you are unsure of your water heater’s condition or need your water heater maintained. Give Nashoba Air & BoilerWorks a call today (978) 540-8676 ; we’re here to serve you!

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