The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Why Water Heaters Fail: 6 Reasons Explained

tankless water heater failsThere’s no feeling like stepping into a hot shower and finding no hot water. And there’s no sound like the yelp you let out when that happens.

Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever. Eventually, they fail. Here’s what causes water heaters to fail.

  1. Internal corrosion. The anode rod in your water heater tank is commonly called a sacrificial anode. That’s because they are designed to corrode so the inside of your water heater tank won’t. Anode rods need to be checked every year and replaced as needed. If they haven’t been replaced in a while, corrosion is getting to the inside of your water heater tank and setting it up to fail.
  2. Water pressure that is too high. When your water heater’s water pressure is too high, it can damage the heater, your pipes, and appliances that use hot water. One way high water pressure may be evident is that water is leaking from the overflow pump, which is located on the side of your water heater. Make sure that the water pressure for your water heater is no higher than 80 psi.
  3. Sediment. If you have hard water that is heated in your water heater, sediment can build up on the bottom and clog water passages. If sediment has built up, that can cause your water heater to fail.
  4. Your water heater is too small. You may have added another bathroom to your home, or maybe more people are living in your home. But your water heater may be too small to meet your new hot water needs. That means it will work more than it should, and can end up failing because of overuse.
  5. Improper venting. This is a problem that could become dangerous, because it means that exhaust or gas fumes aren’t being vented out of your home as they should be. A common sign is burn marks on the outside of your water heater. If this is left unaddressed, your water heater will fail.
  6. Old age. As we said earlier, nothing lasts forever. The average life expectancy for a conventional tank water heater is between 8 and 12 years. If your water heater is in that age range, it’s time to start thinking about replacement. And it’s a great time to upgrade to a tankless water heater! They last longer, give you endless hot water whenever you need it, and save on energy costs.

Are you having problems with your water heater? Don’t delay, get in touch with the professionals at P. Gagnon & Son for a service call!