Acidic And Hard Water Acidic water is a problem your anode rod will have to deal with. You can do a simple pH test on a water sample from a faucet in the house. If the sample shows anything less than a pH of 7, then you have acidic water. Hard water is simple to determine. If you don't soften your water, then the water will feel like it has a lot of friction when rubbing it across your skin.
In both of these cases, its best to have a plumber check your anode rods every 2 years. If the anode is severely worn away, then have it replaced. Softening And Phosphate-Treated Water Hard water is nothing more than water with a high amount of minerals in it. Softening water is the act of applying salt to the water to combine with the minerals to make the water soft and nonabrasive. Salt is very damaging to the anode rod inside your water heater.
For that matter, so is the hard water. But salt is even worse. If you soften or phosphate-treat your water, you should check your anode rod every two years. Have a plumber perform this service. Remember, softening or phosphate-treating water wears out the anode 2 to 3 times faster.
Your anode rod itself can be made out of three different metals: Magnesium, aluminum, or zinc. If you find your current anode rod worn away when checking it or you soften or phosphate-treat your water, then consider adding an aluminum anode rod back into the water heater. Magnesium rods in softened water sometimes cause a hydrogen gas reaction that causes very small leaks in your plumbing.
This doesn't always happen but its a possibility. A benefit of softening water is that it helps reduce sediment production inside your water heater. Remember that softening water cuts your anodes life expectancy in half though. The Purpose Of A Drain Pan Or Water Alarm Installing a drain pan underneath your water heater can be helpful in catching any runoff from a small leak.
The drain pan should have a small pipe running from it so that water can run through the pipe to some place safe, preferably outside. Water heaters have been known to leak often enough and the price of a drain pan is very inexpensive and easy to install. Getting a drain pan is always a good idea if the water heater is located to valuables that shouldn't get wet. If a drain pan has nowhere to run the water off to, then place a water alarm in the drain pan. Keep the batteries in the alarm new and operable. Quick Ideas To Save Water Some easy ways to save water and money is to install low flow devices on all your shower heads and faucets in the house.
If you have the opportunity to build your own home, consider installing plumbing lines that are just the right size instead of overly large pipes. Large pipes allow much more water to sit inside of them and this water cools rapidly. When you want hot water again, all that extra cold water has to be pushed through the lines thus wasting water. The Unmentioned Reason For Insufficient Hot Water If you have extremely short hot showers followed by endless cold water, you probably have a broken or damaged dip tube inside your water heater.
Have a plumber replace the dip tube inside and make sure the new dip tube is a curved dip tube. A curved dip tube has the ability to keep your water heater virtually sediment free by swirling the water at the bottom of the water heater. A straight dip tube does not and allows sediment to form. Checking The Temperature Of Your Hot Water Unfortunately, hot water heaters don't come with a thermostat most of the time.
The best way to check the temperature of your water is to run the water at a tap for awhile until it gets hot. Fill the hot water into a cup. Stick a meat thermometer in the water and see how hot it is. If its about 130 degrees, your fine. If its a little more or a little less and you have a gas water heater, then rotate the gas dial hotter or colder to make it closer to 130 degrees.
small 1/4 inch turns are recommended. If you have an electric water heater, find the lower element panel. It looks like a small door about a foot in height.
There's usually two of them, although smaller water heaters may only have one. Open the panel and see if an adjustable thermostat is behind it. If there is, you can adjust the temperature, but if there isn't you simply can't.
Electric water heaters are usually preset at the correct temperature anyway, so don't worry about this too much.
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