It’s easy to assume hot water is a given in any Conway, SC household. And it usually is, until the water heater stops working suddenly. However, hot water heaters are rarely capable of breaking without warning. As such, it is important to recognize the everyday signs that your hot water heater is failing. If you know how to recognize signs your hot water heater is about to fail, you can avoid discomfort, damage and the expense of costly, premature water heater replacement.
The seven tell-tale signs include:
Low water pressure
Low water pressure could also indicate that your heater is having problems. Water pressure can be affected by many factors. However, low water pressure is generally a sign that your heater is acting up. Over time, sediment builds up inside the water heater, leading to reduced flow and blockages. You can call a plumber to clean out the pipes or replace them. An annual flushing of the water heater’s tank and supply pipes are sometimes enough to keep water pressure consistent.
Inconsistent water temperature
If your water temperature is inconsistent, it could indicate that your heater isn’t working properly. However, you may just need to arrange for a water heater replacement that has a larger capacity.
A licensed plumber can inspect your water heater if inconsistent heating is a problem. A problem with your thermostat could cause the issue, but inconsistent water temperatures can also be a sign of a larger issue with the heater itself.
Your water heater or supply pipes may be corroding if your water becomes murky or rusty. Rust can quickly build up in a water heater tank, which can cause discolored water that tastes bad. Rust accumulated on older water heaters can lead to the destruction of your appliance and the need for water heater replacement.
You can replace the anode rod before replacing the whole water heater to see if this improves the water quality. Anode rods, which are made of steel wires with other components such as magnesium and aluminum, help to prevent corrosion in tank water heaters. They are more susceptible to corrosion than the heaters, so you will need to replace them at least once during the lifespan of your water heater.
Egg-y, sulfur smell
It’s not fun to have water that smells like eggs. This is often an indication that you require a water heater replacement service, or at the very least an inspection and repair. Other water problems, such as a high level of bacteria, can also make your water smell like eggs. However, if the smell only occurs when using your hot water supply, you should assume that your water heater is the culprit.
The warm and humid conditions found inside a tank heater are ideal for sulfur bacterial growth. Your tank can become contaminated and give off an unpleasant smell like rotten eggs.
It doesn’t necessarily mean the water heater in your Conway, SC home has failed, but an egg-y odor is something you should address immediately. You might consider temporarily raising the temperature of the tank to kill the bacteria, but overworking your tank at high temperatures for long periods can cause premature water heater replacement. Replacing an aluminum anode rod with a magnesium one can also work to remove the unpleasant smell. Aluminum rods are more likely to produce sulfide bacteria than magnesium rods.
Water heaters produce some noise as part of their normal functioning. However, if your water heater is making unusual sounds, or is louder than usual, it could indicate that your water heater needs to be repaired. You may hear a clicking, rumbling, or popping sound from your water heater. This could be due to sediment buildup. Consider flushing out your tank and replacing your anode rod.
A water heater replacement component may be required if you hear a crackling or hissing sound. This could indicate a moisture buildup in a gas water heater. It could also be an indication that something is blocking the heating element of an electric tank. You will need to contact a professional to help identify the cause and resolve the issue.
Whistling and high-pitched screeching sounds are often caused by incorrect pressure adjustments in your tank. It is worth double-checking both temperature and pressure valves have been properly adjusted. Call a technician if you feel uncomfortable addressing the issue.
Hot water that doesn’t last
Another sign you should buy a water heater replacement is insufficient hot water. Water heaters lose their ability to heat water and become less efficient as they age. A tankless water heater can be a great option if not enough hot water is a regular problem in your home. It can provide hot water for your entire family.
If your hot water heater isn’t being flushed regularly, or if you have high levels of sediment in your water supply, these particles can settle in the tank and take up space, resulting in a lower water capacity.
Water puddles around water heaters are a sure-fire sign that you need a water heater replacement. This should be addressed immediately. Water may be seen dripping from the tank, or pooling underneath the unit. You might also see water dripping from the connecting pipes.
One frequent cause of water pooling is connections or valves that aren’t fully closed. These parts may need to be tightened or replaced, but if it’s the tank itself that’s leaking, there needs to be a full replacement.
You should not ignore any signs that your hot water heater is failing. Get your hot water heater serviced immediately and begin budgeting for and searching for a replacement. When looking for a water heater replacement, make sure it is ENERGY STAR-certified. These units and other energy-efficient appliances will help you save energy and lower your monthly energy bills.
Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach – Conway, SC if you’ve noticed any of the above tell-tale signs. We can help diagnose, repair, and replace all styles of water heater.