water heater leaking

5 Indicators of Water Heater Failure

For many people, the only way they find out that they have water heater problems is when they try to take a bath/shower, only to discover there’s no hot water.

There are other tell-tale signs you can use to tell if your water heater is on its way out. Knowing before it completely breaks down can save you money in expensive repairs down the road.

So, how can you tell that you’re about to have hot water problems?

1.  Limited Hot Water

Of course, one of the first easy-to-notice indicators that you may need a water heater repair is that you don’t get as much hot water as you usually do.

Water heaters need regular maintenance that includes draining and flushing at least once a year. This is meant to prevent sediment from building up in the water heater. When it does build up, it takes up space, leaving less room for your water. The result is that you get hot water, but in limited quantities.

2.  Strange Noises

It’s normal for a water heater to make certain noises when heating water. However, when it starts making strange sounds, it’s an indicator that it’s about to fail. Examples of such strange noises include rumbling, banging sounds, or popping sounds, depending on whether you use a gas or electric water heater. These are usually caused by sediment build-up in the tank.

3.  Discolored Water

Water heaters come with a component in the tank called an anode. The primary purpose of this component is to prevent the tank from rusting. However, it needs to be replaced several times over the life of the tank. That’s because the point of the anode can break off and start rusting. The discoloration of your hot water is a sign that your anode is faulty.

When you notice a color change in your hot water, it’s a sign that you may need to repair your water heater. In cases where this goes on for a long time, and the color of your hot water becomes darker, this is a sign that the water tank is corroded. That means you’ll need to carry out a water heater replacement job and not a repair.

4.  Leaking Tank or Pressure Relief Valve

Ask any plumber, and they’ll tell you that a leak is a sign of trouble—no matter how small. That’s why, when you notice a damp spot or puddle on the floor, you mustn’t take it lightly. Check around the seams of your water tank for any places that have been compromised. They are a sign that you may need to replace your tank.

Another place where you may notice leakages is on the temperature/pressure relief (TPR) valve. Leakages here are a sign of dangerously high pressures building up in your water tank.

No matter how small the leak, get a professional to take a look before you encounter serious water heater problems.

5.  Frequent Repairs

As a water heater ages, more parts start failing. As a result, you’ll find yourself repairing it more frequently.

plumber repair gas boiler

When you sit down to count the repair costs, you may find that you’ve spent enough to get a new water heater.

When you find yourself repairing your water heater frequently, it’s an indicator that a water heater replacement is the better solution.

Noticed Any of These Water Heater Problems?

If you’ve noticed any of these signs or any other anomalies with your hot water, get a professional to come and inspect it. At KC’s 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing, we’re always on call to help you with any of your water heater problems—and other plumbing issues. What’s more, we don’t charge extra for overtime or after-hours jobs. So, go ahead and give us a call at 760-327-8718 and let’s talk plumbing.

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