Have you ever really given much thought to how much work your home’s water heater goes through? It takes on more work than your other home comfort systems, when you think about it–since you need this system pretty much every day of the year, no matter what the weather is outside (unlike your air conditioner or heater).
All the work your water heater goes through puts strain on the system, leading to wear and tear. Water heaters don’t contain many moving parts, but eventually, it’s going to need repair work to keep running well. Ignoring the signs of a water heater in disrepair could lead to a premature and unexpected breakdown.
To help you determine when it’s time to call for water heater repair, we’ve collected a list of major warning signs for you to watch out for.
The Water Heater is Leaking
The only place it’s ever okay to see water dripping from a storage tank water heater is at the pressure relief valve, which drips in order to reduce water pressure if it’s too high.
Water leaking from anywhere else in or around the water heater means your system needs to be checked over by a professional.
You Hear Rumbling from the system
Don’t panic! Rumbling can sound really scary, but it’s actually quite common. However, being common doesn’t mean you shouldn’t address it.
Most likely, this sound that you’re hearing comes from sediment that has developed along the bottom of the tank, trapping a layer of water above the heating elements that cause it to boil and percolate through the sediment. Too much sediment will impact water heater efficiency.
The rumbling can also mean a rise in water pressure or that you have a broken dip tube that’s allowing hot and cold water to mix at the top of the tank.
If you turn on any hot water taps in your home and see any sort of reddish discoloration, it could mean that there is corrosion of the pipe, or corrosion in your system. Unfortunately, corrosion inside the system may mean it’s time for replacement and a repair might not cut it.
The best thing you can do to determine what is best for your specific water heater is to contact a professional!
Know When It’s Time to Replace
As we alluded to above, corrosion is sort of a deal breaker when it comes to your water heater. If you see visible corrosion or if you were informed by your plumber that corrosion is occurring inside the system, it could be time to replace the system instead of spending more money on repairs.
A good rule of thumb is if your water heater is nearing a couple of decades old and your next repair need is going to cost half of what the system is worth, it probably makes the most sense to just upgrade the water heater now.