HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Factors That Reduce Water Heater Efficiency

No one wants to wake up to a house with lukewarm water, but an inefficient water heater can place you in such a situation. Here are some of the issues that might lead to water heater inefficiency. 

Sediment Buildup

The water supply to your home contains dissolved minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium. Some of the sediments settle at the bottom of the tank as the water heater operates. Over time, the sediment buildup becomes too much, affecting water heater operations. For example, the sediments act as an insulator between the water and the tank, forcing the heater to use more energy than usual to heat the water. The result is high energy bills and diminished output of hot water.

Internal Corrosion

Internal corrosion can also affect your water heater's operations. For example, corrosion can constrict the inlet and outlet pipes, leading to low water pressure. Corrosion can also weaken the tank material and lead to cracks or holes that allow water to leak out of the tank.

Water heater corrosion comes from diffident angles. For example, the use of water softeners speeds up the rate of corrosion. The use of acidic fumes, such as bleach fumes, also speeds up corrosion.

High Water Pressure

High water pressure is not good for any of your plumbing fixtures, and not just the water heater. Each plumbing fixture has a maximum water pressure it can handle without damage. Extremely high pressure can cause instant damage. In most cases, however, the pressure is only slightly elevated and doesn't cause instant damage. Rather, the elevated water pressure accelerates the wear and tear that interferes with the heater's efficiency, after some time.

Incorrect Sizing

Lastly, you may also think your water heater is inefficient if you haven't sized it correctly. The size of the water heater should depend on various things, such as the size of the household, the number of hot water points, and efficiency of hot water appliances, among other things. If you get the sizing wrong, then the available water will be inadequate for your needs.


Water heaters, just like other plumbing fixtures, suffer from wear and tear in everyday usage. The expansion and contraction of the materials weaken them with time. The buildup of sediments, the vibrations, and the corrosion all contribute to this wear and tear. Thus, even if you maintain your water heater adequately, it will be nowhere as efficient, after many years, as it was when newly installed.

While some of these problems can be prevented, some occur as a natural result of use. When the time comes to replace any of all components of your water heater, make contact with a residential plumbing professional near you.