Posted by Sandra Tessier on 1/30/2018

You may not think much about your hot water heater. Unless of course, your hot water heater ends up breaking down. Hot water is so important in our homes, yet we take this resource for granted. Hot water does a lot in our homes from clean our laundry to disinfect our dishes to heat up our showers. We use it without thinking about it.  


If you neglect your hot water heater it can cause some costly damage to your home. Your basement could end up flooded. Pipes can burst. You can be without the use of hot water for days- even weeks- if youíre not vigilant about taking care of your hot water heater. 


Once water is gushing from the source, the best course of action is to simply shut the water off to your home. Before you even get to that point there are some tell tale signs of damage to your hot water heater that can be detected before major issues arise. First, if you notice any type of water around your hot water heater, you should get it checked out. Donít look at it as ďno big deal.Ē Any type of moisture or water stains around the water heater itself are a sure sign that something isnít right with the unit.


As a homeowner, you should know just how old your hot water heater is. Usually, the installation date on the heater is noted somewhere along with the serial number. The typical hot water heater lasts about 9-11 years. If you live in an area with hard water, this number can vary.   



The Cleanup


Once the damage is done to your hot water heater youíll likely have a large cleanup project on your hands. Youíll need to call water extraction services that will help dry out the area and clean up any baseboards that can become hazardous. Sometimes, these projects can get a bit bigger than youíd ever expect. After the water is pumped out, the cleanup has only just begun.  


Why Hot Water Heaters Fail


The minerals from water tend to build up (especially in the case of hard water) and cause the unit to rust out form the inside. While the inside of the tank contains glass, it does have metal pieces that can rust. You can replace certain parts of the hot water heater from time to time to keep it in good working order, the best prevention is to replace your water heater when the time is right. Donít let the unit sit until way past its expiration date.


Being The Homeowner


As a homeowner, you probably wonder if something like a broken water heater were to happen if your insurance would cover the cost of the damage. The insurance will cover the cost of cleanup and repairs. The insurance will not cover the cost to replace the hot water heater or any labor costs. The only way the entire cost would be covered is if you have a home warranty. 


A simple thing that you can get to help alleviate major damage to your home from a hot water heater is to get an alarm. This little device is inexpensive and will alert you when any water hits near the areas of the alarm. This could save you a lot of costly damage and repairs. The most important thing that you can do in your home to prevent major damage from a hot water heater is to stay vigilant and keep on top of maintenance and replacement timelines.           





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