How do most water heaters fail? Water heaters are essential to most homes, providing hot water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning. But even with proper maintenance, water heaters can fail for various reasons. Understanding the most common causes of water heater failure can help homeowners minimize the risk of an unexpected breakdown.
The most common cause of water heater failure is mineral buildup. Hard water, which is high in mineral content, can cause the interior walls of the water heater to become coated with a layer of mineral deposits. Over time, these deposits will begin to clog the pipes and restrict the water flow, ultimately leading to the failure of the water heater. In addition to limiting the flow of water, the mineral deposits may also lead to corrosion of the interior of the tank, which will also cause it to fail.
Another common cause of water heater failure is a lack of maintenance. Sediment and other debris can build up in the tank over time, restricting water flow and decreasing efficiency. Regularly flushing the tank and inspecting the interior for corrosion or other problems can help to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Leaks are another common cause of water heater failure. Leaks can occur at the seams of the tank, at the connection points, or in the plumbing. If a water heater is leaking, the source of the leak must be identified and addressed before the water heater can be fixed.
Finally, age can contribute to water heater failure. Water heaters are designed to last between 8 and 12 years, and as they age, the components may become worn or corroded and require replacement. If a water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may be more economical to replace it rather than attempt to repair it.