How To Tell If My Water Heater Needs to Be Repaired

Many people don’t think about their water heaters too often, that is, until something goes wrong. When a water heater stops working, a family may notice just how many daily activities rely on their water heater. Laundry, washing dishes, showering, and washing hands are all rendered ineffective or uncomfortable without hot water. Before your water heater completely goes out, here are a few signs you can watch for that may alert you to an imminent water heater issue.

Inconsistent Water Temperatures

If you have noticed a decrease in the amount of hot water you are able to enjoy in a short period of time (such as the length of a shower or while washing dishes), the heating element in your water heater could be going out. The heating elements on both gas and electric water heaters can wear out over time and be less effective after several years. If your water heater is producing no hot water at all, then it is likely that your heating element has completely failed and needs replacement.

If you have never been able to enjoy much hot water from your tank in your home, you may want to consider upgrading your tank to a larger size. Depending on your household hot water demands, a larger tank may be the best solution for meeting your needs.

Leaks and/or Rust

Water heaters are usually in the business of keeping water inside tanks, not outside. If water begins to leak around the tank or from one of the pipes connected to the tank, this could signal an issue with corrosion of the parts. Rust is a sure sign that water is leaking somewhere in or around the unit. A small leak left unchecked can cause huge floods of water and disastrous consequences later on. It is best to regularly check around your water heater for leaks so they can be addressed right away.

As soon as a leak is spotted, call a professional to come to inspect it. They may offer water heater repair or replacement options depending on how old the tank is itself. If it is nearing the 10-year mark, there may not be very may long-term repair options and a replacement may be necessary.

Unusual Noises

Normally, hot water heaters are fairly quiet machines. You may not notice them making any noise at all, especially if they are located in a secluded part of the house. If you suddenly hear your unit making loud clanging, rumbling, or knocking noises, there is definitely an issue with your water heater.

These strange noises are often the result of sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank. As the unit heats and reheats over time, it must overcome this sediment buildup to effectively heat the water. This strain can cause the inner tank to swell and even crack under the pressure. To prevent this from occurring, you can call water heater services to come to flush your tank and remove the sediment before it has a chance to build up. It is recommended that homeowners have this completed once per year, especially in areas with hard water.

Water Discoloration

Water should always come out clear from your faucets. If it is cloudy or brown, there could be a problem with your water heater, especially if the discoloration doesn’t diminish or go away if the water is left on for several minutes.

Rust inside the tank can cause hot water to appear brown when pouring out of the faucets. Minerals and other deposits can cause water to look cloudy or brown as well. At this point, it is often too late to repair the water heater and you will need a replacement sooner than later, especially to protect the health and wellbeing of your family.

Need Water Heater Repair or Replacement?

A homeowner may be able to perform a few troubleshooting options when experiencing a water heater issue. For instance, checking the water heater thermostat to ensure it is set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and tightening any loose pipes may solve small issues. If the issue comes back or is not solved, however, you may need to call us at Alpha Plumbing.

Our professionals can help figure out what is wrong with your water heater and offer repair or replacement options, including installation of energy-efficient tankless water heaters. Don’t wait until your water heater leaks gallons of water onto your floors because of a neglected repair. Call the professionals at Alpha Plumbing today to have your unit repaired ASAP.