One of the most expensive things that could need replacing in a home is your home’s water heater. Your water heater has the very important job of working continuously to ensure warm water is always available to the people in your home. But because it is working all the time, there are also many things that can go wrong with a water heater. When purchasing a new home, the home inspection should include an examination of the home’s water heater to ensure it is working efficiently and safely. Here are the most common problems associated with water heaters that your home inspector should be checking for:
Lack Of Hot Water
Obviously, the entire purpose of your water heater is to provide your home with hot water. If the water you are receiving in your home when you turn the “hot” water on is still cold then there is clearly a problem with your home’s water heater. What the actual problem is within the water heater can vary depending on the type of water heater your home has. If your home has a gas-fired water heater, there could be a blocked vent or something wrong with the pilot light or thermocouple. If your home has an electric water heater, there is likely something wrong with the heating element, which is also known as an immersion heater.
Sediment Build Up
It is normal for there to be some amount of sediment built up at the bottom of your water heater’s tank. But if there is too much sediment built up at the bottom of the water heater’s tank, it can have an impact on the amount of water that the tank is able to hold. Excessive sediment built up at the bottom of the water heater tank will also require the system to work harder to properly heat your water, which will result in higher utility costs. One indication that there is too much sediment built up at the bottom of your water heater’s tank is a foul odor that smells like rotten eggs coming from the unit.
If you notice water pooling underneath your water heater, you first need to ensure that the water is not simply a result of condensation. Small puddles of water beneath a water heater that are caused by condensation are normal and are not a big concern. But if the inspector rules out condensation as the source of the water pooling underneath your water heater, this likely means that there is a either a problem with one of the valves in the water heater or that the water heater’s tank is corroded. If the issue of the leak is caused by a corroded tank, then the water heater will need to be replaced as soon as is possible.
Issues With The Circuit Breaker
If your home has an electric water heater and it keeps tripping your home’s circuit breaker, this can be an extremely serious and dangerous issue. If your water heater is causing your circuit breaker to trip repeatedly, this likely means that the water heater is using too much power, overloading the circuit and thus causing the circuit breaker to trip. There are a number of issues that could be causing your water heater to use too much power including a broken thermostat, a broken heating element, or problems with the wiring. Circuit breakers that are overloaded can cause your home’s wiring to overheat which could lead to a fire starting. If there is a problem with your water heater that is continuously causing your home’s circuit breaker to trip, the issue should be investigated and corrected immediately.