Commercial water heaters tend to have a pretty thankless job, which can create problems down the road. Sure, you don’t have to worry about your water heater leaving your company for one with a better 401k or health benefits. But, you do have to worry about the system developing problems over time without you noticing.
You don’t want to find out about your commercial water heater malfunctioning only when it breaks down. If you can detect problems earlier in the development process, you can call for repairs earlier and prevent more damage. Being able to detect problems earlier is dependent on how much you know about different warning signs, some of which we’re going to cover below.
Dropping Water Output
The easiest way to tell that your commercial water heater is having issues is if you notice that it’s not actually providing as much hot water as it should be. Dropping output from the system could be due to a number of different factors. If you’re using a gas water heater, it’s possible that the burner assembly is clogged. This could prevent some of the jets in the assembly from firing, or it could prevent the entire assembly from operating at all. The only way to know for certain is to have a professional look at it.
If you know that your building has a problem with hard water, you should also have the system flushed out to get right of any lime scale buildup. This can insulate the water in the tank from the heat generated by the burner assembly, which will cause the output to drop.
It’s never a good sign to have a leak develop in a plumbing system. Even small leaks can grow over time into larger leaks, which can threaten the entire water heater if they’re located in the wrong place. If you notice a leak anywhere on the water heater system, you should call a professional to check on it as soon as possible.
Inconsistent Water Temperature
If you’re getting sudden shifts in water temperature, from hot to cold and back again, then you might have a problem with the dip tube. In a tank water heater, a dip tube is a plastic tube that extends from the water line to the bottom of the tank. Water that flows into the system moves through this tube, and is let out at the bottom of the system.
There are two reasons for this. The first reason is to make sure that the cold water enters the system as close as possible to the heat source. This helps it to warm up faster, so the system can keep providing hot water in large amounts. The second reason is to keep the cold water from mingling with the hot water leaving the tank. If the dip tube cracks or breaks, it can release cold water into the hot water leaving the system. Replacing the tube should resolve the problem.