Top 5 Water Heater Signals
Before your water heater stops working, it will usually give one of several early warning signs that problems are imminent. If your water heater is showing one of these common symptoms of impending failure, call The Plumbing Doc now and you may be able to save it before it become a major expense.
- Too Cold or Too Hot
Most commonly, either the heating element or the water heater thermostat is the guilty party when a water heater starts to go bad. These two parts work together to control the temperature of the water in the tank, and when one of them begins to fail, your hot water heater will start to ignore its temperature settings and either stop heating the water or heat it too much. You’ll notice that even though you’re putting your shower knob where you’ve always set it, the temperature of the water will be different than what you’re expecting.
If your hot water temperatures begin to fluctuate, call The Plumbing Doc right away to have your water heater serviced. Left untreated, a faulty water heater can be dangerous, but many temperature-related problems can be fixed inexpensively before the problem becomes serious.
- Red, Brown or Black Water
If your water changes color when you turn the hot water knob, it may be time to replace your water heater. As time goes by, constant exposure moisture leads to rust and corrosion on the inside of the water heater tank. This usually shows up at the spigot as a red, brown, or black tinge to your hot water, and it indicates that the damage to interior of the tank has progressed to the point that the walls may be weakening. Have you water heater checked right away before it springs a leak.
- Funny Smell
Water heaters that aren’t reaching the right temperatures can allow bacteria to build up in the tank, which produce unpleasant odors in the hot water. You may notice a musty smell, a rotten egg smell, or some other new odor that’s only present when you’re using hot water. In this case, your water heater is probably the source.
Keep in mind: If you have a bad odor in both hot water and cold water, it’s a problem from outside your home. Check with your local water supplier for the cause.
- The Water Heater Makes Noise
If your water heater sounds like it’s groaning or banging whenever it kicks on, it’s a sign that it may be time for replacement. That deep rumble or loud clank is caused by excess lime buildup in the bottom of the tank, which deteriorates the tank walls and damages the heating element. Eventually it will cause major problems, so call The Plumbing Doc now and avoid an emergency later.
- Poor Water Pressure
An often-overlooked sign of a water heater problem, poor water pressure while using hot water can reveal a couple different issues. If the tank is leaking, low water levels in the tank can reduce your water pressure. Another possibility is hard water scale or mineral buildup in the intake and outflow lines that is blocking flow. If you notice that your pressure drops when you turn the knob to “hot,” your tank might need attention.