What would cause a hot water heater to stop working?

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Hot water heaters are a blessing. Anyone taking them for granted can easily learn his lesson if his heater breaks up smack in the middle of biting cold winters. Even as the season shifts from summer to autumn or from winters to spring, water temperature may not be suitable for long baths or dishwashing.

Again, such circumstances up to the significance of a hot water heater. When it stops working though, it can leave a big question mark in its wake. You are left scratching your head, wondering why in the world did the heater break? Since your interaction with it is limited to turning it on and off and adjusting the temperature dial, it shouldn’t stop working.

To help you sail through the confusion, here is a look at possible reasons for your hot water heaters breakage:

  1. Scale build-up

Water contains minerals, which can speed up the wear and tear process of the heating elements present in the hot water heater. As minerals adopt such a damaging action plan, the lower heating element of the home appliance is encased with the mineral sediment at the bottom.

Subsequently, the hot water system has to work harder than its usual work, which may culminate in failure. To avoid damage due to this reason, drain the water tanks in a couple of months to eliminate the mineral deposits.

  1. Internal rust

Internal rust or corrosion is another possible cause behind a dormant, non-functional hot water heater. Your heater is powered by sacrificial anodes that are highly active rods made of metal. The anode rods keep corrosion at bay as they are consumed by rust instead of the metal they protect.

This explains the name of the ‘sacrificial’ rod. Since the anode rods bear the brunt of all the rust, these need to be replaced once in a while. If the anode rod replacement is due, you’ll have to call in professional services for Water Heater Repair.

  1. Power surge

A power surge owing to a lightning strike or electric power can also break your water heater. This is because such incidents can chip in a sudden voltage surge, which can burn the heating elements of the hot water heater.

In 2016, there were about 109,049 claims of lightning. Of these, 50% were due to an electrical surge that damaged components and wiring. Power surges from service shorts or transformers also added to these voltage swells. Hence, if you’ve noted a power surge before your heater went dead, this can be the reason for its work failure.

  1. Wiring issues

Another reason behind the failed operations of your water heater is an issue in the wiring. A poor wire connection or damaged wires can both culminate in issues for the hot water heater. Damaged wires can also cause safety problems owing to the risk of hot wire grounding or arcing. You’ll have to pay attention to the regular maintenance of your water heater to prevent such a concern.

  1. Improper installation

If you’ve only just got your hot water heater installed and it has stopped working, then improper installation may be the culprit. In several instances, things may not be done right in the first place. To prevent further damage in such a case, turn off the power supply to the heater and shut off the water supply as well.

  1. Faulty thermostat or a leaking water tank

If you note that the water from your heater is not of the assigned temperature, then a broken thermostat may be responsible for ceasing the work of the water heater. Moreover, wear and tear can reach a finale of malfunctions if your appliance is old. As a result, you will need to tighten the bolts surrounding the gaskets occasionally.

  1. High water pressure

Another possible culprit is high water pressure. Water that flows at high pressure can damage your water heaters as well as the pipes and other appliances. If you note that the side pipe of your hot water heater is leaking due to an overflowing pipe, then an excessive pressure issue may be to blame. Replacing the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve may fix things.

  1. Split sheath

The copper sheath of a heating element consists of magnesium oxide powder, which assists in transferring heat. If this powder gets wet, the copper sheath containing it expands, leading to a split because of a chemical reaction. If this issue is behind your water heater’s failure, then you need to get in touch with the manufacturer to get the heating element changed.

In a nutshell, regardless of the reason why your hot water heater stopped working, you need to contact a professional for a quick repair. Trying the DIY approach is also a formidable option but only if you have experience handling such appliances.

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