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May 10, 2023

What Causes Too Much Pressure in Hot Water Heaters?

Are you tired of playing guessing games with your water temperature? You need the professional services of Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing!

If you notice inconsistencies in your water heater’s performance, you shouldn’t wait long to check the pressure gauge. Sometimes, even seemingly unrelated common issues indicate a pressure problem. And a water heater under pressure could easily become a hazard to your home.

But what causes too much pressure in hot water heaters? As Greenwood’s professional water heater services provider, we have some answers. 

Common Signs of High Pressure in Water Heaters

How can you tell whether your water heater is under increased pressure? One way is to inspect the appliance for signals that indicate new problems. For example, you might notice corroded spots on the tank’s surface, which often means the tank is nearing its replacement window.

Lightly touch the surface of the tank to detect the temperature. Do some areas feel warmer than others? Your water heater’s contents might be under pressure. 

Other common indicators that require professional attention include the following:

  • Leaking tank or other components
  • Rusty water coming from your taps when you turn the hot water on
  • Hissing noises coming from the tank

Continue reading to find out more so that you can keep your family and property safe.

#1 High Temperature Setting

What causes excess pressure in hot water heaters? The temperature setting is a surprisingly common cause. If you enjoy extremely hot showers, you could be contributing to dangerous levels of pressure in the tank. Many water heaters can safely handle moderate temperatures, but pressure builds quickly at higher levels.

Your water heater’s temperature settings shouldn’t stay above the recommended temperature. If you suspect a pressure buildup, turn it down to a safer setting to prevent damage or worse. 

#2 Faulty Components

As your water heater ages, its components stop functioning. Heating elements, valves, and other parts need professional services at times. The limit switch, a safety feature that prevents excessively high temperatures, can also malfunction.

When these issues occur, your water heater can’t safely regulate itself. A licensed and certified plumber will need to troubleshoot the issue and find a solution. Professional services could even increase your water heater’s lifespan with a simple part replacement.   

#3 Mineral Buildup

Do you live in an area with hard water? You might have an issue with mineral buildup. As the water heater warms its contents, the minerals separate from the water and sink to the bottom of the tank, where they collect.

As these deposits increase, the water heats up faster. Eventually, this leads to excessive water pressure. However, you can combat this issue by flushing the tank at least once a year to prolong its lifespan and maintain safe levels of pressure.

#4 Expansion Tank

Do you know what causes too much pressure in hot water heaters? Even if you aren’t sure, there are ways to mitigate building pressure with safety components. For example, if you don’t have an expansion tank, you may need to install one to provide a place for water to go when the water tank’s pressure rises beyond a certain point.

Closed plumbing systems must have an expansion tank to prevent used water from moving back into city pipes or causing thermal expansion.

#5 Steam and Air

Sometimes, unsafe levels of steam and air can collect within the water tank. This buildup typically occurs when detritus prevents the heat exchanger from functioning properly. 

Heat exchangers regulate the tank’s temperature by removing heat when necessary. If it clogs with mineral deposits, it cannot properly remove steam and air from the tank. You can circumvent this by asking your plumber to flush the exchanger as well as the tank periodically. 

#6 Unreliable Connections

Sometimes, it isn’t the components or the tank. Rather, the wires that connect these parts develop faulty connections. Ineffective electrical connections make for unreliable information transference, sending some parts the wrong signal or no signal at all. A professional must reconnect or replace these wires to reestablish a consistent, safe connection. 

#7 Aging Water Heater

Older water heater models have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, whereas new models can last over 20 years with proper maintenance. However, every water heater requires more frequent repairs and part replacements as it gets older. If numerous components stop working and put your home at risk, ask the experts whether they recommend a new water heater.

What To Do If Your Water Heater Has Too Much Pressure

So, what should you do in the event your water heater contains excessive pressure? First, you should determine whether high pressure presents a problem. Inspect your tank and any attached components for damage, uneven temperatures, and other signs of pressure issues.

If you observe any signs of something amiss, take steps to protect your home and family. Even if the plumber you call confirms a safe pressure level, you’ll be glad you’ve put your safety first. 

Start by cutting the power to your water heater. Then, check the temperature gauge and release valve. If your water heater contains too much pressure, you might notice the following: 

  • High temperatures
  • Leaky valve
  • Open valve

Are there possible pressure issues? Cut the cold water supply that keeps your tank full. If you have other appliances connected to the heater, turn them off as well before contacting emergency plumbing services.

A water heater under pressure means more than a damaged heater. It can cause burst pipes, water damage, and explosions for extensive property damage and even personal injury.

Find Out What Causes Too Much Pressure in Hot Water Heaters with Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing

If you want a team that understands what causes too much pressure in hot water heaters, we can help you look into numerous possible issues, including the unit’s age, worn components, and other signs that your hot water is going bad.

Call Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing at (317) 754-8511 today to stay on top of your water heater’s needs!

Author Bio:

Brittany Katterjohn

Brittany is a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer with previous business development experience in the home maintenance industry. She currently manages the marketing for Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for helping people by simplifying seemingly complicated topics related to home maintenance and repair.

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