By: Kevin Gardner
Owning a piece of real estate is a source of pride. However, that source of pride goes hand-in-hand with some challenges. Pieces of property can break, leak, wear-out and overheat. The pressure of maintaining your property increases if you rent out your home. A critical piece of machinery in your property is the water heater. No one wants to stay in a house where the water is unreliable. Rather than waiting until the water heater breaks, it is important to take proactive steps to monitor the heater. Read on to learn what you can do to oversee the performance of your water heater so you will know the warning signs when it is time to be replaced.
Check for Leaks
One of the primary ways to tell if there is something wrong with your heater is if it is leaking. Check your unit on a regular basis to ensure there are no pools of water around it. If you notice water, this is an indicator that the heater or one of the attachments is leaking. Keep an eye out for residue as well. Even if there is no water, it may be drying before you see it and leaving residue behind. If you are noticing leaks, contact a professional immediately for an assessment, such as The Water Heater Company in Brentwood. They will be able to advise if the damage can be fixed or if it is time for a replacement.
Monitor the Water
The color, temperature and smell of the water at the rental property can all point to the unit’s condition. The water should be consistently clear. If you notice a red hue or the color is cloudy, these indicate that something is wrong with the heater. Corrosion has likely occurred or deposit is developing within the tank. If this is the case, the water will also have a funny smell, similar to iron.
Keep in mind, water makeup can vary, depending on the source. Purified bottled water will not have the same content as the water from your hose. Well-water can smell like iron and be cloudy; this is just due to the water source, not an issue with the water heater.
Additionally, the temperature of your water can point to unit problems. For example, if your hot water never gets above lukewarm, this is an issue indicator. With a temperature concern, chances are a piece of the heater has simply broken and can be replaced. However, it is always best to get it checked as this is not always the case.
Listen to the Unit
If your tenants are complaining about strange noises coming from the heater, this can also signal the need for a replacement. Minerals in the water part as the water is warmed. After dividing, the minerals land either at the bottom of the unit or above the burner. Without proper maintenance, over time this residue will build up, which forces the heater to run more than it normally should. Damage to the tank and burner can occur and odd noises will happen when the unit runs, such as clunking, cracking or booming. Flushing the tank may fix this problem but if not, the until will likely need to be replaced.
Note the Age
One of the simplest ways to tell if it is time to purchase a new water heater is by deferring to the age. Tank heaters tend to last around eight to 15 years while tankless heaters can last closer to 20. If you are constantly running into issues, check how old the unit is. If it is near the age limit, it is probably time to look for a new heater.
When managing your properties, make sure you pay close attention to your water heater. Monitor it closely for any of the above symptoms. If you are noticing any of these issues, it might be time to consider a new unit.
By: Kevin Gardner