Water Heater Maintenance 101

Water heaters are generally forgotten about by Westfield homeowners until they hop into a freezing cold shower. Replacing a water heater is a necessity, but it’s an expensive one. Water heaters are built to withstand years of usage, even with larger families who tend to use more hot water than say a family of three.

Common Water Heater Problems

However, if you don’t keep up on annual maintenance, they are more likely to break, need new parts or stop working completely. There are many factors that stop a water heater from working correctly, but many of these are easily avoidable.

Sediment Build Up

Sediment can cause big problems with your water heater because it is relatively an unavoidable issue. Sediment usually consists of any solid material that doesn’t dissolve in water, and after years of use that sediment can build up at the bottom of your tank.

Among general materials such as dirt or sand, iron, calcium, and magnesium can build and eventually lead to your hot water taps rusting. Enough sediment build up can lead to the bottom of your water tank bursting beneath the weight and leaking all the water out into your garage.


Something as simple as a leak can take down water heaters slowly but surely. Water heaters fall under the category of ‘out of sight out of mind’ since its usually hidden deep in the corner of your garage or basement. Most leaks start out minuscule but if left unnoticed they just grow and grow, destroying the water heater from the outside. Internal rust is another huge problem that can manifest inside the tank if it’s not checked properly.

Wiring Damage

Sacrificial anodes are often the deciding factor on if your tank will last sixty years or six. A sacrificial anode is a rode created out of magnesium or aluminum and is formed around a steel core wire that is screwed on the top of the tank. When the tank is filled with water the sacrificial anode surrounding the wire begins to get ‘eaten’, thereby sacrificing itself to protect the wire. Once it’s gone and the wire begins to take the damage the tank will start to rust inside.

Water heaters are the forgotten backbone of a functional house until it doesn’t work. So take a few minutes each year and check your Westfield water heater, it may save you a lot of money.

If you haven’t had your Westfield, IN plumbing system checked out, there’s no better time than now to call Isley Plumbing at (317) 420-4006!