Moving into an older home gives you plenty of opportunities to engage in some exciting remodeling projects. However, it is always best to start with the basics to make sure your home is safe before you start to paint or make other changes. As you make your renovation plans, be alert for these eight warning signs that your water heater is failing.
The Water Heater Is Aging
Traditional tank water heaters typically last about 10 years before you risk major problems. If you are unsure of how old your hot water heater is, then check the serial number and compare it to the manufacturer's labeling codes. Alternatively, a professional plumber can tell you about how old your unit is during an inspection.
The Hot Water Goes Away Too Soon
You thought your hot water heater was fine until you had houseguests and the temperature ran cold too fast. This can sometimes point to a water heater that is too small for your household demands. An older water heater may also have an element burning out that needs to be replaced.
The Water Is Cloudy or Smells Funny
People sometimes blame their pipes when water starts coming out cloudy. However, mineral deposits building up in your unit also cause this. As they flow out of your spigots, you may also notice a metallic odor. If you leave this to fester, you will also notice the aerators on your faucets getting clogged with mineral debris.
The Water Is Dangerously Hot
Before you call the plumber, check to see if your temperature control has moved. If it is set to the correct temperature, then this could represent a failure of the temperature-pressure relief valve on your unit. A valve failure must be repaired right away since it can lead to serious burns or your unit exploding from too much pressure.
The Unit Makes a Rumbling Sound
For the most part, you should hardly hear sounds coming from your water heater other than the sound of running water or a little click when a unit turns on. Serious popping, knocking or rumbling sounds indicate sediment buildup in the bottom of your unit that needs to be cleaned out to restore the system to maximum efficiency.
The Hot Water Is a Rusty Color
Rust-colored water is another problem that people tend to assume is due to pipe corrosion. However, seeing only rust colors with the hot water points toward a heater issue. Rust-colored water can be the result of corrosion within your tank that is now flowing out. In some cases, replacing the anode does the trick, but tank corrosion is also an issue that could require tank replacement.
There Is a Leak
Water heater leaks can range from mild to completely devastating. For this reason, any little leak should be inspected and repaired by a professional plumber. Professional repair is especially important when your water heater is located in an area of your home that is susceptible to water damage, since gallons can flow out at once.
The Water Takes Forever to Heat Up
There are several things that can be going on if the water takes a long time to heat up. In larger homes, your water heater may be far from your fixtures, so it may take time for the hot water to arrive. Alternatively, your heater may not be maintaining the temperature of water stored in the tank. In either case, switching to a tankless water heater can solve the problem.
Water heaters are one of those appliances that homeowners tend to overlook until something breaks. Whether you are ready for an upgrade or just need a repair, contact us at Vets 4 You Plumbing, Heating & Air so we can help you avoid a hot water heater emergency.