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F.H. Furr's Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Insider Blog

Signs Your Water Heater is On the Fritz

Oh, we've heard it all before: "But I didn’t even know anything was wrong," you stutter, blue-lipped and shivering, having been unceremoniously forced out of your shower by a sudden and disturbing temperature drop in the water.

But Fairfax plumbers know better. Much like any other appliance, your water heater gives off subtle warning signs. And just like other appliances, you either may not notice them, or you may dismiss them as typical wear-and-tear. To avoid another unexpected Arctic shower, pay close attention if you notice any of these warning signs.

  1. Water temperature problems. If your routine and family dynamics have stayed the same but the hot water just doesn’t stretch as far, it may be a warning sign of trouble to come. Don’t jump to conclusions just yet, though. Someone may have adjusted the thermostat on the heater, or all those houseguests you had may have sapped the hot water.
  2. Rusty or dirty water. Much like Kryptonite is what always does in Superman, rust is the killer of all traditional water heaters. Minerals commonly found in the water supply in Virginia attack the steel of the tank and promote corrosion. That’s right – by virtue of living in this great state, your water heater is already doomed from the get-go. If your water is anything less than pristine, it’s time to call F.H. Furr.
  3. Snap, crackle and pop. If your water heater is doing a very good impersonation of a popular breakfast cereal, it may be time to call in the pros. These noises are the result of years of water being heated and cooled. As water heats, it expands and hits minerals that have precipitated out over the years, causing a gravel-like sound. Strange noises are the long, slow death of a water heater, so if you begin hearing something funny, the time to act is now.
  4. Water that smells funny. If your water smells metallic, sulphurous, or just strange in general, it may indicate that minerals have built up in the tank to an unhealthy level.
  5. Leaks around your water heater. This is never, ever, ever normal. If you notice a puddle around your heater, immediately pick up the phone and give us a call. The corrosion inside your tank has now eaten its way through the steel, and you are very close to having a big problem. Hint: be prepared to write a check for a new water heater. You’re going to need it.

If you have any of these issues, it's just a matter of time before you are going to need a good, affordable Fairfax plumber. Especially one that can get out there the same day, so give F.H. Furr a call at 1-800-401-2980.

Topics: furnace