WATER PRESSURE: Water expands when it is heated. Because water cannot be compressed, heating, expanding water creates pressure on the water tank (and pipes).
PREVENTION: Expansion tanks are installed to absorb the force of expanding water and extend the life of the water heater tank.
SOFT WATER: Soft water minimizes mineral build-up in the tank. Low mineral levels maintain the water heater at high efficiency but may also expose tank interiors to corrosion. Mineral build-up in some heaters prevents them from leaking while greatly reducing efficiency.
PREVENTION: Regularly inspect the anode rod and replace it when necessary.
HARD WATER (electric water heaters): Because they cycle on and off and fail more often, lower elements can overheat and split. Split elements often leak to the outside of the water heater.
PREVENTION: 1. Inspect and clean the heating elements. 2. install a water softener. 3. Installed elements that are more resistant to lime (mineral) build-up.
WATER TEMPERATURE: Water stored at 160 deg. F (72 C)may be twice as corrosive as water stored at 140 deg. F. (60 C).
PREVENTION: Begin with a water heater setting at 120 degrees F. and only increase as necessary.
USAGE: As burners or elements cycle on and off, a small amount of expansion and contraction takes place. This will eventually fatigue and crack tank joints or welds.
PREVENTION: Installing a properly sized tank will help minimize cycling.
WATER HAMMER: "Water hammer" is pounding or vibration that happens when water flowing through pipes is shut off abruptly. It creates a high-intensity pressure wave that travels through the through the piping system until it reaches a point of relief; sometimes, the water heater. Water hammer can also be inaudible. It is commonly caused by single-lever faucets (sinks/lavatories) and automatic solenoid valves (dishwashers, washing machines, etc.). The speed of valve closure is directly related to the intensity of surge pressure.
RESULTS: 1. Expanded tank shell. 2. Collapsed combustion flue tube, can cause flame or the products of combustion to spill out of the burn chamber. 3. deformed tank head. Because water hammer exposes tanks to pressures in excess of their design limits, failure caused by water hammer is not eligible for warranty consideration.
PREVENTION: Have water hammer arrestors installed.