Water damage in your Treasure Valley home can be caused by multiple sources. Malfunctioning appliances are some of the most common causes of water damage, and the most catastrophic 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 endless supply of water, when the water heater tank leaks water will continually flow into your home because of the device’s ability to constantly refill itself. If your home has a water heater, our water damage cleanup experts would like to introduce a few ways you can prevent leakage in the first place and respond quickly to prevent a costly water damage cleanup.
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 connections
- Loose heating element
- Bad gasket
- 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. Doing so can save you from a costly water damage cleanup. 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.