- Burner Assembly Cleaning/Replacement – There are occasions when the burner assembly (the part that heats the water) gets fouled with debris. If a dryer is nearby and the ventilation is poor lint can build up around the burner which can lead to improper combustion and that can lead to carbon build-up. If the area occupied by the heater is extremely dirty or dusty, debris can build up around the burner assembly. In either case the dust can cause improper combustion and lead to inefficiency and possible elevated CO2 levels in the home. Another reason for burner failure and repair is flooding. Anytime the burner assembly is submerged in water it is recommended the burner be replaced. In fact almost all water heater manufacturers recommend a complete burner replacement in the event of flooding.
- Temperature and Pressure Valve Replacement – One of the most important safety features installed on a heaterand code required in every state and municipality in the US is the T&P valve. Most water heater manufacturers pre-install the valve so there is no confusion about it’s importance. The T&P valve is made to “pop” or release in the event that the heater gets to hot or the pressure inside is too great. All temperature and pressure valves meant to be installed on a domestic water heater are meant to pop one time. If the heater gets too hot or the pressure to great the T&P releases the pressure or heat and that valve needs to be replaced. The good thing is that they can be replaced however this is another instance where a professional plumbing tech should look the heater over to see if there aren’t any other glaring issues.
- Drain Valve/Boiler Drain Replacement – This is the drain located on the bottom of the heater and is used to drain the water heater down. They are replaceable however if leaking occurs around the threads of the heater the tank may be corroded and replacing the valve won’t fix the problem. If this is the case we recommend replacing the entire water heater.
Other Tips and Suggestions
- Most water heaters manufactured these days are built to combat suspended solids/sediment from settling on the bottom of the tank. However the water heater is made with a drain valve and it is a good practice to drain the heater down once a year to clean out any sedimentation that makes its way to the bottom of the tank.
- There are municipalities around the world with incoming water so latent with sediment that no amount of engineering can prevent those suspended solids from settling. In these situations the tank should be drained twice a year. We have seen with our own eyes many heaters that have so much sediment on the bottom the heater can hardly drain down.
- When this sediment is heated over and over again it becomes hard, in fact if enough sediment accumulates it can break the inside of a glass lined heater.
- Keep the area around the burner assembly free from debris, dust, clothes, metal shavings etc. These things can severely decrease the life span of the heater.