Today’s Simple Home Precaution: Hot Water Heater Check

Hot Water Heater Flood

Remediation companies including the Flathead’s Floodco LLC respond periodically to water damage scenarios caused by leaky hot water heaters. Serious structural water damage may require demolition and replacement of floors and walls when water heaters have been leaking for awhile. Sadly, these are often home flooding situations that could have been avoided with simple visual checks by the homeowner.

It costs nothing to periodically check around your hot water heater for evidence of corrosion or leaking from fittings on the intake or outflow lines, temperature pressure, TP, valve, or dampness at the base of the tank. Minor leaks often show up well before a catastrophic tank blowout and flooding event. Slow drips do not fix themselves, so call a plumber or qualified handyman for an evaluation.

Water heaters don’t last forever. Like other home appliances, they can be expected to fail in some way around 10-15 years of service. ‘Planned obsolescence’ is engineered into common home appliances to make them cheaper to manufacture or stimulate more frequent repurchase.

Failures of a heating element or pressure relief valve might be easily repaired by a qualified contractor or handyman. However, If your water heater is pushing 12 years old or beyond we suggest that you replace that older appliance with a newer model having the latest energy efficiency standards.

In the long run you will have purchased peace-of-mind – Preventing more expensive problems. You will also avoid expensive after hours or weekend emergency service calls by replacing a water heater on your schedule, rather than the plumber’s. Energy efficiency will save on operation cost providing a darn quick payback.

Water damage caused by even the slowest of appliance leaks can be very expensive to repair. Long running leaks will inevitably generate a mold infestation in wet building materials. Mold stemming from neglected maintenance is likely not going to be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. 

Make a point this weekend to visually inspect your hot water heater. Figure out its age and plan to replace with a newer unit if it’s beyond the expected life. Please call Floodco 406 892-1717 with questions on water heater water damage concerns. Chances are very good we have the answers.

Posted by Lloy Griffing  October 31, 2014    Email comments welcome: lloy@floodco.net

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