Tank water heaters have been the most popular style of water heater for generations. They are durable, they don't need a lot of attention, and you will always know that your home has hot water on-hand. 

While tank water heaters are very dependable, they can occasionally develop problems after years of use. Here are two of the most common tank water heater problems and their possible solutions.

1. A Failing Heating Element

The heating element is a hot spot for water heater problems. This is because the heating element is continuously exposed to extreme temperatures to keep hot water ready for your home. The heating element can start to break down with age, and your water heater will no longer heat the water effectively.

Sediment buildup can be another source of heating element issues in tank water heaters. Minerals in your water will gradually collect at the bottom of the tank, where they can coat the heating element and prevent heat transfer. Your plumber can repair a failing heating element in your water heater by flushing the tank to remove sediment. They may even be able to replace the heating element if necessary without replacing your entire water heater.

2. Storage Tank Leaks

A leaky tank can waste dozens of gallons of water per day and cause significant water damage in the area around your water heater. There are a few different reasons that a water heater can begin to leak around the storage tank.

Water heater tanks have an insulating layer on their inner walls to protect the steel tank from corrosion. If the insulation has cracked or otherwise worn away, the tank may begin to rust and leak. A rusted storage tank is a sign that your water heater has reached the end of its life. There's simply no way to repair the insulation and restore the tank to its former watertight state.

If there is no visible rust on your storage tank, it may be leaking due to a simpler, more repairable problem such as a worn drain valve. Any time you notice unexplained water around your water heater, call a plumber to track down the source of the leak.

Heating element problems and tank leaks are two problems that can affect virtually any water heater of the storage tank type. Call a pro if you notice any signs of these issues, and keep up with regular professional maintenance to minimize the risk of water heater problems in your home!

For more information, contact a plumber in your area.