Water Heaters are the Rodney Dangerfield of Home Appliances!
Think about this and you’ll agree it’s true. Water Heaters run 24/7, 365 days a year. They are typically hidden away in a closet somewhere, or hiding in a dark corner of the garage, out of sight, out of mind. No Respect for the old water heater! But you sure enjoy that nice hot shower or bath don’t you?
Unlike many appliances, or any mechanical device in our lives, water heaters almost always let us know exactly when they have a problem, and they tell us what the problem is. There are two main reasons to replace a water heater. The first common cause for replacement is a leak. The water storage tanks get old and corrode. Then they spring a leak you you see the puddle. Time for a new one!
Unfortunately, the other common cause for replacement is often overlooked for years. We’ve all heard waters heaters making those scary rumbling and popping sounds right? That’s a telltale sign of a water heater with a badly scaled heat exchanger. It will continue to make hot water though, so what’s the big deal?
Here’s the problem. Scale on the heat exchanger means the efficiency of heating your water has gone way down compared to a unit with a clean surface. That popping and rumbling is caused by small steam bubbles forming and collapsing due to localized hot spots on the surface of the heat exchanger.
The price you pay for neglect is two fold. First, the recovery time for the water heater to deliver a new tank of hot water when it’s been emptied goes up, a lot! This can be a major inconvenience in a busy household.
More importantly, the energy cost on your monthly utility bill goes way up. This is because much of the heat energy you are paying for goes up the flue on a gas model, or simply escapes to the surrounding environment for electric models. It simply can’t transfer to the water in the tank the way it’s supposed to because of the scale build up.