Water Heater Season
What does that mean “water heater season”? The water in Chicago
changes temperature dramatically from season to season. The reason is
because we draw our water off of Lake Michigan, therefore the water travels
through the distribution pipes at the same temperature as the lake. In
the winter time the cold water at our taps can be as cold as 35 degrees.
In the summer believe it or not the water temperatures can get as high
as the upper 70’s. These great fluctuations in cold water delivered
to our water heaters puts a great deal of stress on our water heaters,
and no time more than in the spring and the fall. Our tank type water
heaters are made of steel and that alone is not the problem. The problem
arises because the heaters have numerous welds and that is where the stress
takes its toll. We are lucky here in Chicago because the average national
life expectancy of a water heater is only 8-1/2 years. In Chicago we see
heaters last on average 10 to 15 years. This is in part because of the
quality of our water and actually because we have slightly hard water.
Chicago heaters used to last even longer years ago but our water quality
has changed as well as additives that are seen nowadays. So, word to the
wise, know the age of your heater and if the heater is in an area of your
home make sure that you either replace it proactively or have an automatic
water safety valve so that in the event of a tank failure your do not
damage your property.