A broken water heater is, at the very best, inconvenient and annoying, but in most cases it can be a disaster. Not only are you left without hot water for bathing and cleaning, but a leaking appliance can quickly cause thousands of dollars in water damage. Knowing the signs of a failing water heater and when to call a plumber can prevent massive frustration and expensive repair bills later.
How to Tell if You Have a Failing Water Heater
1. No Hot Water
If your water is only lukewarm or takes forever to heat up, the heating element inside the tank could be covered in a layer of sediment. This blocks heat from transferring to the water, so the element will burn longer to compensate. Eventually, the sediment buildup can cause premature failure of the heater and major leaks by diverting the water through potential cracks.
2. Signs of Rust
The steel tank of a water heater is strong enough to withstand enormous pressure, but it’s also susceptible to rust. If your water has a brown, rusty color or you see corrosion around the valves, the tank itself is likely compromised. This can lead to your appliance rupturing, which can be extremely dangerous, potentially even leading to an explosion inside of your home.
3. Random Popping Noises
A properly functioning water heater is nearly silent, so pay attention to pops or rumbling sounds. These noises usually mean that the interior surface of the tank is coated in minerals, but they could also be signs of an imminent leak or tank failure.
4. Leaks and Ruptures
As they age, many water heaters tend to expand, which stretches out tiny cracks on the inside of the tank, leading to leaks and eventually ruptures. Water on the outside of the tank or pooling on the ground is always a sign of serious problems that should be checked out immediately.
5. Old Water Heater
Most modern water heaters have a lifespan of eight to 10 years, after which they’ll start breaking down more frequently. If your heater is nearing the end of its lifespan and seems to require more frequent maintenance, it may be best to have it replaced before it breaks down for good.
Whether your water heater is on its last legs or just needs some routine maintenance, call in the plumbers at H & N Plumbing, Heating & Electrical. They’ve been serving Fennimore, WI homeowners since 1958, building a name for delivering high-quality services at the best rates in the area. Visit their website for more on their comprehensive list of plumbing services, or call (888) 822-3258 to have a plumber check out your water heater today.