Water heaters are fairly simple devices. Basically it’s a 30, 40 50 or 60 gallon holding tank with a cold water intake, a hot water outlet and a drain valve. Inside there are a few other components ; a heating element, a dip tube (that guides cold water coming into the tank down to the bottom so the hot water on top will be used first) and a ‘sacrificial rod or anode’, to help prevent corrosion inside the tank.
Broken Water Heater?
The first thing to do if you have alot of water in your home or office is to quickly evaluate the situation. The question you should ask yourself is; Is the water still gushing or has the water stoped gushing? If the water is still gushing, find the main water supply valve, if you have access to it, and shut it off immediately. This will allow you more time to try and find the problem in your plumbing system and call a plumber when the timing is right for you. If you are unable to stop the water from gushing yourself, this would be the right time to call an emergency plumber.
Water temperature problems
If you have absolutely no hot water – the heating element (electric) or gas thermocouple is probably not working. These are replaceable components you can do yourself and replacing them will give you back your normal hot water supply. The thermostat on the tank being changed usually causes water that’s too hot or too cold. It’s a simple matter to raise or lower the temperature a few degrees to get your tank back to functioning properly once again.
Noises coming from inside the tank
Noises may be caused a sediment build up inside the tank and the heating element is literally burning it. Alternatively, the noise could be caused by the heating element slowly burning out and the noise is giving you some warning that it might be time to replace the element. Your water heater spends it life hiding out of sight in your home and like most of us, you don’t think about it until it stops working properly. However, taking just a little time to give your tank the annual maintenance the manufacturers recommend will extend it’s life and save you a bunch of money on plumbers bills.