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Category Press Release
Publish Date 1/26/2016
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Water Damage from Faulty Water Heaters Can Cause Mold and Other Indoor Environmental Concerns
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides testing services and instrumentation to identify water damage and the presence of mold, lead and asbestos.

Cinnaminson, NJ, January 26th, 2016

Across the United States and Canada, there are tens of millions of water heaters in residential and commercial properties. Hot water is one of the modern conveniences many people take for granted with a simple turn of the tap providing a warm bath, shower or hot water for washing dishes and clothes.  

Millions of water heaters are sold in North America each year to replace broken units, upgrade to more energy efficient models or for use in new construction. These water heaters typically have a lifespan of between 8 to 15 years.  

For many people, as long as there is hot water at the tap, they don’t think much about water heater maintenance and preventive care. To prolong the life of a water heater, sacrificial anodes are located in many models to help protect it from internal corrosion. Over time, these may need to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Many plumbing experts also recommend that hot water tanks are flushed once per year to help remove sediment or rust that may have built up in the unit.

The following observations may provide an indication that a water heater likely needs to be serviced or replaced soon.

  • Water takes longer to heat or doesn’t get as hot as it used to.
  • The unit makes popping sounds when heating water.
  • Hot water has a metallic taste or visible rust comes from the faucet.
  • Rust is forming on the outside of the heater.
  • There are leaks below the heater.


One of the more common manmade reasons for a flooding event in a residential or commercial property is due to a leaking water heater. “Hundreds of gallons of water can enter a property in a relatively short period of time if a water heater fails,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This water will not only damage or destroy building materials, furnishing and belongings, it will also support the growth of mold in 48 hours or less on many materials if they remain wet. Mold is an allergen, respiratory irritant, asthma trigger and some types are even pathogens for people with a weakened immune system. Repairing damage caused by a leaking water heater could also expose building occupants to lead and asbestos hazards in some older properties that contain the materials.”

People faced with water damage in their home, office or school, can turn to the experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL offers testing services and sampling supplies for mold, bacteria, lead, asbestos and other hazards that commonly occur after a flooding event. They also recently sponsored an online video about water heaters, property damage and mold that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 
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