The ability to differentiate between home repairs and improvements that you can make yourself and those that will require the help of a contractor is a very important skill to have. Not only will this skill prevent you from spending more money than you need to on professional services, but it will also help you to avoid costly mistakes by attempting DIY projects that are out of your league. It is my hope that this information contained in this blog will help you to obtain this skill. More importantly, it is my hope that once you have identified a project you wish to take on, this information in this blog will help you to get the job done.
When most people think about their water heaters failing, they think about the possibility of taking freezing cold showers in the middle of winter, which could easily mean there's an electrical problem or a thermostat failure. They may suffer through the cold shower and not even check the water heater simply because they are already in a hurry to go to work or otherwise begin their hectic day.
However, water heater failure is one of the top causes of residential water damage. Because of this, you should always check your water heater for signs of leaks when it no longer provides you with hot water, particularly if you have well water. Always. Here are a few things about well water that can cause a water heater to fail and cause significant water damage.
Rust & corrosion
Well water often has more corrosive qualities than municipal water does. Since most well water is corrosive in nature, there's a risk of your water heater tank corroding. Most water heater tanks are made of steel and have vitreous glass linings to help protect the steel from corrosion. Water heaters have magnesium anode rods that are designed to corrode. This is necessary in order for the corrosive properties of water to have something to attack. In fact, it's called a sacrificial anode and is not meant to last forever.
Sediment & mineral deposits
Well water generally has more mineral content than municipal water, which means the water has a higher hardness level. Water with high mineral content produces more mineral scales and deposits when water is heated and when it evaporates. These deposits inside a water heater settle to the bottom of the tank where it accumulates. The texture of this sediment is similar to cooked oatmeal in texture and appearance.
Water samples & testing
You will need to replace the sacrificial anode at some point, and the sediment will need to be regularly removed from the tank in order to keep your water heater functioning properly. Check the condition of the anode and the interior of the water heater tank on a regular basis, such as annually or semi-annually, depending on the corrosive and mineral qualities of your water supply.
To find out whether or not your home's water is corrosive or has a high mineral content, ask your local health department for a water sample test kit. Follow the health department's instructions on how and where to send your water sample to. Alternatively, ask your plumber to take a water sample and have it tested. Visit websites like http://www.firstclassplumbinginc.com/ for more information.