The Components in Electric and Gas Water Heaters are very similar except the gas unit has more moving and operating components. Due to the high output of heat by the burners, they generally last less time than an electric water heater. 

1. Steel water storage tank 2. (Gas) A flue pipe (for the burner) is centered in the tank and exits both the top and bottom 3. Tank — coated with enamel paint on the inside 4. Glass lining inside the tank — keeps water away from tank (glass lining cracks over time).

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What causes a water heater to leak?

The most common reason is due to age. Other things might be due to corrosion.  Corrosion can cause the temperature / relief valve to stick. It can also ruin all the internal and external water lines to the tank AND the home.  

The picture below shows a corroded temperature and relief valve. 

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Pictured below, improper fittings were used. The fittings are copper to steel. This causes electrolysis to take place, (rapid corrosion of the water lines). 

A metal pipe with a hole in the middle

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What takes place within a water heater (aside from making hot water)?

Aside from making the water hot, the heating process “stirs up the water” and starts to create a separation of sediments and minerals within the tank water. All the sediment and minerals begin to bond or stick together. This can take up a lot of space within the tank itself. Over time, you get less hot water as the “block of sludge” grows bigger.

Pictured below is a cut away to show the inside of a water heater with years of sediment build up. 

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If you happen to be diligent to flush your water heater every 6 to 12 months, (faithfully), you will more than likely remove the internal debris pictured below. 

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Some areas have high levels of calcium in the water. The calcium ball quickly takes water space. Pictured below is a cut out of a tank load with calcium. 

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Expansion tank.

In addition to the issues previously mentioned, the lack of an expansion tank attached to the water heater can be the most damaging to your water heater and the home. 

Pictured below is what an expansion tank looks like on your water heater. 

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Your home can be severely damaged without an expansion tank. 

Imagine your water heater rupturing and ruining your floors, furniture, family photos, memorabilia, keep sakes, and let alone the potential for thousands of dollars’ worth of structural damage. 

The potential for damage is much larger than one can imagine.

Pictured below are a few damaged water heaters found in the area since the beginning of 2023 that did NOT have an expansion tank attached. 

A close-up of a broken tank

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A large white cylinder with a hole in it

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To get a free quote to add an expansion tank, water heaters and all your home pluming needs:

Carruth Home Solutions at 916-257-8310

Text 916-257-8310


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