signs your water heater is going out

15 May 2019

7 Signs Your Water Heater is Going Out

7 Signs Your Water Heater is Going Out

Most of us rarely think about our home’s water heater tucked away in the basement or utility room until there seems to be a problem. Sometimes, water heater defects can be quite dramatic, such as when a major leak springs and water gushes out of the water heater tank. But more often, problems worsen gradually until the water heater fails. You should never wait for the water heater to reach a failure point before you take action. In this article, Clarke & Rush explores the different signs your water heater is going out so you can take the necessary actions to fix your water heater.

The Water is Gritty or Discolored

Does the water coming from your water heater look muddy or is gritty? Plumbers at Clarke & Rush reveal that the anode rod in the water heater may have corroded extensively to the level of no longer protecting the tank.

As the tank begins to corrode, the corroded material causes the water to be gritty or muddy. Replace the sacrificial anode immediately so that you can save the tank from sustaining serious damage. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace the water heater prematurely.

An Unusual Smell in the Hot Water

Another sign that may suggest that you may need to replace your water heater is an unusual smell or taste in the hot water. Sacramento plumbers say some homeowners describe the taste as “metallic” while others describe the smell as “rotten eggs.” Either way, cleaning the water heater tank as well as replacing the sacrificial anode can prevent problems from getting worse and costing you the water heater. This is because those unusual tastes and smells may indicate corrosion within the tank.

The Age of Your Water Heater

All appliances are built to last for a definite duration. In this regard, you should ask a professional from Clarke & Rush to check the condition of your water heater if it is more than a decade old.

This health check is necessary because most water heaters have a design lifespan that doesn’t exceed 15 years. The actual longevity of the water heater is influenced by many factors, such as how well it is maintained. It is therefore important to have the water heater checked annually by an experienced plumber if it is aging. Consider replacing it once its reliability starts faltering.

Insufficient Hot Water

Water heaters that are about to fail may also avail less hot water when it’s needed. This reduction of hot water may be due to the accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the tank.

This sediment is significant for two reasons, according to plumbers in Sacramento. First, the sediment takes up some of the space which should have been occupied by water.

Secondly, sediment creates a barrier that prevents the heat from the heating element to reach the water. As a result, the water will take longer to reach the desired temperature, if at all it does. Soon, you will notice that your hot shower is anything but hot.

The best way to prevent this problem from destroying your water heater is by flushing the tank annually. Contact Clarke & Rush for advice if you aren’t sure how to flush the tank correctly.

Unusual Sounds Coming From Your Water Heater

Water heaters are designed to operate almost noiselessly. So, you should be concerned if your water heater starts emitting unusual sounds, such as rumbling or popping sounds. These sounds are due to the air trapped within the mineral deposits or other sediments in the tank.

As the water heats, the air starts escaping and triggers those sounds that you hear. Once again, periodic flushing can save your heater from irreparable damage resulting from sediment accumulation. If the sound remains after you have flushed the tank, ask Clarke & Rush to send a plumber over so that you get the proper professional plumbing advice.

Faulty or Leaking TPR Valve

Water heaters have a safety feature called a TPR (temperature and pressure relief) valve. This valve activates when the temperature or the pressure inside the water heater tank rises to a potentially dangerous level. Without this TPR valve, your water heater tank may explode if a defect, such as a malfunction in the thermostat, prevents the heater from turning off once the water reaches the predetermined temperature.

The TPR valve should be tested annually to confirm that it is working properly. If no water flows out once the valve is opened, or you notice leaks just beneath this valve, ask a plumber in Sacramento to take a look. Fortunately, you can replace this valve without having to buy another water heater.

The Tank Leaks

Poor maintenance (such as neglecting to replace the anode as recommended), age and other factors can cause the water tank to start leaking. Before you condemn the tank as beyond repair, ask a Sacramento plumber to check and find out whether it isn’t the drain valve at the bottom that is leaking. If the drain valve is okay, consider buying another water heater because a leaking tank cannot be repaired.

Water heaters can last for much longer than their expected lifespan if they are maintained correctly. It is therefore wise for you to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions so that you get the best service from your investment. Supplement what you do with help from Clarke & Rush so that our plumbers can spot and address any developing issues that may not be apparent to you as a layperson. When was the water heater last inspected professionally? Contact us today and let us make sure everything is fine with this appliance.

2 thoughts on “7 Signs Your Water Heater is Going Out”

  1. Thanks for explaining when a water heater may need attention. I didn’t know that sediment could actually reduce hot water. You mentioned this is prevented by flushing the tank every year. I’m interested to learn if there’s an ideal time to do that or if it just depends on how much the heater is used for.

  2. This is some really good information about water heaters. I liked that you pointed out that it would be smart to think about paying attention to the sounds of the water heater. That is good to know that because I have noticed that my boiler hasn’t been working really well lately.

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