Why Water Heaters Can Overheat

hot water heater overheating

It doesn’t hit how much you miss warm water until it’s gone. If your water heater is on the fritz, sure you want it fixed. But you also want to know what happened.

Broken Thermostat

One of the most common issues we see is a malfunctioning thermostat. Sediment build up calcifies creating hard water. Over time hard water requires your heater to do more work to warm up water. Eventually, the water heater overheats and breaks.   

An old thermostat that isn’t properly functioning can also cause your heater to break. A broken thermostat can tell the heater to keep warming up even though the water is already at the proper temperature.   

Pressure Release Valve

More disastrous issues can occur with your pressure release valve. If the valves fail due to a lack of regular maintenance the pressure inside the system can rise to the point of causing an explosion.   

Do you hear water boiling from the tank, or get scalding hot water from your faucets? Shut off power to the water heater and call a plumber. A qualified repair person can check the valve and replace it if needed.

Water Heater Breakdown Prevention Tips

Check the thermostat settings on your water heater. Generally, it should be between 110 and 125 degrees. Many heaters include safety latches to prevent the settings from going higher accidentally, but it can still occur. Someone may have adjusted the thermostat to over 125 by mistake.   

To maintain the release valve, lift the supply lever up for one to two seconds enabling the water to flush the valve. If the water goes through the pipe quickly, it’s doing well. Contact a plumber if you see any visible residue or slow drainage occur after lifting the lever.    

The next thing you can do to prevent a sudden breakdown is hire a plumber to check up on your water heater annually. An experienced professional can perform plumbing maintenance, reviewing your entire system for mechanical faults.

They can:

  • Clean out any sediment building up inside your heater
  • Replace the thermostat if necessary
  • Inspect the temperature and pressure release valves
  • Install a water softener

They can even fit drains with hair catchers, so you don’t have to buy draino. 

For water heater repairs and maintenance in the San Antonio area, contact us today.

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