Don’t Risk Going Without Hot Water! Know The Five Signs That Your Water Heater Is Going Out

Water heaters are essential to our everyday life. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to wash clothes, do dishes, or shower (at least not comfortably).
Whether tankless water heaters or traditional models, it’s important to know the signs of failure before the entire unit goes kaput. If you’ve been having issues with your wanter heater, or if the unit is just old, here are a few things to look out for.

The Five Signs Of A Failing Water Heater

  • Age. This is the most obvious one, and it’s quite easy to determine even if you weren’t the one who installed it. Check the serial number on the unit, typically the first two numbers represent the year the water heater was manufactured. This can help give you an idea of how old the unit is, and if it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. Usually, if a unit is 10 years or older it’s time to start thinking about replacement. This is about the time many units start failing and the cost of repair and damage could quickly surmount the price of a new tank.
  • Rust. If you’ve started to notice that your hot water is rusty, it could be a sign that the tank is rusting on the inside. (Note that the rust should only be coming from the hot tap.) If this is the case, see about getting an inspection to confirm the rust build-up. Or if you know how to check the inside yourself, look for dirty looking or muddy water that has a metallic taste, that is a surefire sign of rusting. If you choose to get a new water heater you can prevent this issue in the future by adding an aluminum, zinc, or magnesium rod to your tank.
  • Less Hot Water Another way to tell your water heater is on the fritz is low or no hot water. If you’re finding you can spend less time in the shower without the water getting cold, you should have a professional come and take a look. It may be that sediment has build-up and is preventing the water from adequately being heated by the main sources.
  • Rumbling. Speaking of sediment, as it builds up at the bottom of tanks, it gradually gets heated and reheated. Overtime this can cause it to harden and cut off a lot of the water from the heat source. If this happens you may start to hear rumbling or banging from the inside. Cracks can also appear on the outside, so look for leaks if you hear anything suspicious. Heating issues like this should always be looked at as soon as possible.
  • Leaks. Metal expands when it is heated, and when this happens in your water heater and there are cracks, water can leak out around it. Depending on where your unit is, this can go on to cause significant water damage if not caught early. Before you go and replace the unit, make sure it is only the tank that is leaking and not any of the pipes. If anything is found, call and have your unit replaced by a professional as soon as possible.

There are some issues that will require water heater repair and others that will require full-blown water heater replacement. It’s important to know these signs so that you can contact a professional at the first sign of them to help mitigate damage and potential costs. Something may be repairable; however, if left too long can damage the unit until a replacement is the only option. Don’t risk going without hot water, know the signs, and if possible see about having a professional come out for an inspection. The best way to prevent issues is to stay on top of your unit’s maintenance and repairs.

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