It’s easy to forget how important your water heater is — as long as it’s working properly. It only takes one problem, and you lose hot showers, water to clean your dishes, and the use of your washing machine. What do you do if your water heater is hot to touch? Here’s what could be wrong.
Water Heater Is Hot to Touch
Even though it’s designed to boil water, your water heater shouldn’t get so hot that you can’t touch it. Water heaters are designed to be well insulated so that heat stays in. A water heater that gets too hot could have one of several issues, including:
- A blocked flue
- A backdraft problem
- A missing inner or outer door for the pilot light
- Sediment or buildup
- A ventilation issue
It is vital to perform routine maintenance that can keep small problems from turning into expensive projects. You may need professional assistance if your hot water heater feels abnormally hot. You can also try these quick fixes to see if that alleviates the problem.
Drain the Tank
The most common cause of water heater issues that we see is the buildup of mineral deposits and sediments in the tank. This could be the reason why your water heater is hot to touch. Visible rust or metal in your tank water is a sign of this problem. To prevent this, drain and flush your tank every six weeks when the heater is new, and at least once every six months thereafter.
One of the easiest ways to save money and energy in your house is with proper hot water heater insulation. A unit that is warm to the touch isn’t keeping energy inside the tank, and could need more insulation. Check the R-value of your storage tank. (An R-value is a measure of thermal resistance in the plumbing and construction industries). If the R-value is below R-24, adding insulation can reduce standby heat losses significantly.
Call the Professionals
If your water heater is hot to touch, you need a pro to come in and look at it. It could be fine – but it’s also possible that your heater is exhausting dangerous gases into your home. Contact Newcomb and Company immediately, so we can diagnose and fix the problem.