Most homeowners notice there’s an issue with their water heater when the water just stops running hot! The downside of noticing the problem late is that once there’s no more hot water, that usually means there’s a pretty big issue to fix. The best way to keep your water heater running hotter longer is to take note of signs that appear early on that warn you if it’s going downhill!
In the summer, you might not notice or care if the water is more warm than hot, but during these cold winter months, you’re going to want piping hot water for your baths and showers—not to mention laundry and other household cleaning needs. When water heaters are on the brink of a breakdown, they often exhibit one or more of these signals that you should take note of:
1. Water Temperature Isn’t Consistent
You might experience a nice hot shower one day, and then a lukewarm one the next. Unless multiple people are using hot water in your home at the same time, your water heater’s temperature should be consistent, not varying from hot to cold each day. This temperature issue could be caused by several thigns, from simple problems like adjusting the thermostat, to more complex repairs having to do with heating components.
2. Not Enough Hot Water
So maybe your water temperature is consistent, but it runs out way too fast! If you’re noticing that you barely have enough hot water for one shower, there’s a problem. Solutions could include increasing the thermostat temperature (but use caution, this can cause scalding), flushing the water heater to reduce sediment and buildup that’s causing issues with the system, or even replacing your system with a newer, potentially larger unit to accommodate the size of your home and the needs of the occupants.
3. Water Heater Leaking
It’s rare that you go to inspect your water heater, but if you stop by your utility room every once in awhile, be sure to keep an eye out for leaking or water pooling at the base of the water heater. Some condensation can be normal, but any substantial leak should be addressed right away.
4. Reduced Water Flow
If you’ve got once faucet that has some pressure issues, it might be an individual problem, but if you notice water flow reduction across the board, this might indicate buildup of scale or sediment in the water heater tank. Fortunately, this can be fixed with a water heater flush by a professional plumber.
5. Smelly, Or Discolored Water
What’s that smell of rotten eggs when you turn on the sink to brush your teeth? It could also be accompanied by rusty color that makes you rethink the safety of the water in your home. This could be an issue from the source of your home’s water, or you might need to drain and flush the tank of your water heater to eliminate buildup and rust.
6. The System Is Noisy
If you hear any unusual noises coming from the water tank, take note! Loud whining, boiling, cracks, pops, banging, or gurgling sounds can mean that there’s a deteriorating heating element, burning sediment, or scale buildup. While not all of these are immediately dangerous, sounds like boiling can mean that something is overheating, causing pressure buildup, so it’s best to get those checked out ASAP.
When you notice small issues, we recommend that you call on your plumbing professional right away. Preventing bigger issues is much cheaper and less stressful than replacing your system unexpectedly. The best way to care for your water heater, as well as all of your other home comfort equipment, is to invest in a maintenance plan from your service professional! When you maintain your system annually, it will last longer and work more efficiently than ever! At F.H. Furr, we offer our customers Preferred Partner Plans to cover their needs! Call on us for maintenance today!