If you are like many homeowners, then it is likely that you do not think much about the condition of your water heater. Even though we rely on our water heaters heavily throughout the day to wash dishes and take showers, most of us take this appliance for granted until that unfortunate day when you are treated to a freezing cold shower and you realize that your water heater has failed.
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Reasons Your Water Heater Might Fail
The fact is that water heaters rarely fail suddenly, and if you know what to look for you may be able to have your water heater repaired before it stops working altogether. To help you spot problems with your water heater before it fails, here are a few common signs you can look out for indicating that your water heater is in need of repairs.
Something you should always pay attention to in your appliances is the noises that they make, as this can tell you a lot about their condition. In particular, you will want to occasionally listen to the noises your water heater makes as it is heating water.
While you will likely be familiar with the regular noises your unit makes while it is heating up, you should listen for any unusual popping, crackling, or rumbling noises. These noises are usually a good indication that your water heater is either working too hard to heater water, which could be costing you in increased utility bills.
There are also likely excessive levels of sediment within your tank. A plumbing specialist can flush your unit to remove the sediment and perform any necessary repairs. Mineral deposits inside your water heater can cause damage, making it critical that you do not delay repairs. This is also why it is recommended that you have your water heater flushed every year to prevent sediment build-up.
Low Hot Water Pressure
In addition to creating strange noise, sediment deposits in your water heater can also build up enough to block pipes, which can significantly reduce water pressure coming out of your water heater.
While many problems can cause reduced water pressure in your home, if this issue seems linked to the use of hot water, then it is likely that your water heater is in need of repairs.
Fluctuating Water Temperature
While it is obvious that something is wrong with your water heater if you are not getting any hot water at all, you should not dismiss the possibility of a problem if you notice that your water temperature is inconsistent and fluctuates from hot to cold.
While this can be a sign of mineral deposits building up in your water heater around its heating elements, it could also indicate a problem with your heating elements, and they may need to be repaired or replaced. An experienced technician can discuss your options with you and help you to determine if repairing or replacing your water heater would be best.
The water that comes out of the pipes in your home should, obviously, be clear. If you notice that the water coming out of your faucets when you run hot water is a rusty reddish-brown color, this indicates serious problems with your water heater that will need to be addressed as soon as possible because your water heater could be degrading inside, causing your water to turn brown. A plumber can help you to determine if your water heater is, in fact, the source of the problem, as corroded pipes could also be to blame, and they can help find the right solution for you.
Your Water Smells or Tastes Different
You should always pay attention to the way your water tastes and smells. If your water, and in particular your hot water, doesn't seem to taste or smell quite right, then your water heater may be to blame. A metallic smell or taste can be another sign of a corroded water heater, while other strange smells or tastes can indicate sediment buildup. Regardless, you should suspect problems with your water heater if your hot water smells or tastes off.
These are just a few of the signs which can indicate problems with your water heater. Contact us to learn more as well as to schedule a consultation if you believe that your water heater may be in need of repair.