Water heaters are a crucial behind-the-scenes component of our daily lives. And just like any appliance, water heaters need occasional maintenance and repair.
Recognizing a problem with your water heater is important. Not only will identifying an issue potentially prevent losing hot water, but you’ll extend the life of your tank or tankless water heater.
Here’s how to know your water heater needs repair.
1. Your Water Heater is Leaking
Your water heater may occasionally show condensation on the outside, a reaction based on the water’s temperature and the room it’s located in — this is normal. You should take alarm when there is a steady dripping down the side of the unit or a puddle of water at the base.
Metal expands when heated, so if it expands too much or enough over time, a break can form. There are several consequences to not addressing a leak. Depending on where the unit is located, carpet or other flooring may be damaged, as well as any items near the water heater.
A plumbing professional can check the whole unit and find the source of the leak.
2. Rust-Colored Hot Water
If there is rusty water coming from just the hot temperature, it may be an issue inside the water tank. The pole inside the heater is made of metal and can rust when damaged. Rust in your water can cause potential health hazards. So, if you discover what looks like rust or discoloration, call a plumber right away.
Cloudy water can also mean there’s an issue with the water heater. If you’re suspicious, pour water in a clear glass to see how it looks. Also, give it a smell, checking for anything resembling a metallic odor.
Many of these issues are caused by mineral deposits, which can collect over time. Rust, however, signals a deeper issue. If you notice rust, even when cold water is running, the culprit is more likely in your pipes.
3. No Hot Water
This is perhaps the most obvious reason to seek a water heater repair. The unit’s primary function is to heat water and either store it (in a tank water heater) or pass it directly to your faucet or showerhead (as with a tankless heater). When hot water is severely delayed, only reaching lukewarm, or not heating at all, it’s time to call a water heater expert.
Poor performance can be other factors. If you changed your heater setting to be a lower temperature, it would not release hot water. But if your water heater is running out of water sooner than usual, there may be a deeper issue. It could be the element or burner, which could not only mean damage but is likely costing you more with your energy bills.
Similarly, low water pressure could also be a sign of an issue. Mineral deposits from frequent use of the unit will collect over time and block pipes. Blocked pipes can reduce water pressure but can often be resolved with a deep cleaning.
When to Replace Your Water Heater
Sometimes a repair won’t bring your water heater back to life. Or, you may be shelling out funds on repeated repairs that don’t seem to ever solve the problem. If this is the case, it may be time to replace your water heater. Also, if your unit is over ten years old, you should consider planning for a new one before it fails.
A new water heater has several benefits, including better efficiency and performance. (You also have the opportunity to switch to a tankless heater if you haven’t already.)
Your Friendly Neighborhood Water Heater Team
The Water Heater Company is the San Fernando Valley’s trusted team for all water heater needs. Call us today at (877) 274-1485 for expert service.