A pressure vessel filled with potable (drinkable) water which has a heating source to raise the temperature of the water to a predetermined degree usually between 115 deg/F-125 deg/F. A natural gas hot water heater uses gas and water– it produces flames, hot water, and carbon monoxide- all of which can be dangerous and even deadly so a water heater is nothing to be trifled with, and when not working properly should be service immediately![
Water heaters are made mostly of a thin steel tank located under a tin cover with insulation. This tank would oxidize (rust) very quickly due to electrolysis (electrons passing between dissimilar metals) if it were not for the anode rod located in the hot outlet of the water heater. This rod is charged and attracts the minerals in the tank, doing so the rod rots instead of the tank. Problem is as time passes, this anode rod begins to wear down as it does it’s job. When the rod becomes pencil thin it will break off or cease to function and within a few months pinholes will begin to form in the steel tank at points of impurity naturally occurring in the metal. The big problem is that impurity in metals have a tendency to be in close proximity and can form pin holes in a circle-like formation, and this circle can blow out causing massive flooding. A leaking water heater should be changed immediately!
Yes. Every six months to a year, attach a garden hose to the boiler drain at the base of the water heater and run the water to a drain or out side until the water in the hose runs cold. ***Warning, the water in the heater is extremely hot, and can cause severe burns so be careful where you are discharging the hose and be weary of children. This process limits the amount of sediment that will build up in your water heater and greatly prolong it’s lifetime of use by saving its anode rod.
-If the tank is leaking water. This is a serious condition that requires immediate attention to avoid injury to property or persons. -If the heater is older than 7 years old. There have been significant improvements over just the last year which make older heaters obsolete, inefficient, and dangerous. Old heaters are dangerous, and a new heater will pay for itself in energy savings within a few years.