Are you sick of waking up to cold showers every morning? Tired of waiting for the tap to heat up, only for your water to remain lukewarm? Chances are, there’s a problem with your water heater. Your system could be experiencing issues for a range of reasons, but if you start to have problems with your water heater consistently, it may be time to consider getting a new one. Keep reading for the top five signs your water heater is failing, and remember that for all your water heater repair and replacement needs, you can always count on our experienced technicians at Carter Services.
5 Signs It May Be Time to Replace Your Water Heater
- Consistent Absence of Hot Water: Obviously, the baseline for what you should expect from your water heater is that it’s able to do its job and keep your water hot for a sustained period of time. However, if you find that your water only gets lukewarm at best, or never heats up at all, then your system may be on its way out. Your water heater can stop working for a myriad of reasons, from sediment build-up to inadequate tank size. If the issue is too much sediment, you can usually flush the system out to prevent the build-up from taking energy away from your heating element. However, if your tank does not hold enough gallons to accommodate your whole household (a 30-50 gallon tank will not be able to accommodate a family of five or more,) then it may be time to consider an upgrade.
- Loud Noises: It’s common for your water heater to make some noise during operation, though if your system is consistently making loud banging, rumbling, or popping noises, then you may have a problem on your hands. Once again, these loud noises are likely a result of sediment in your tank interacting with the heating element, thus causing those little mini-explosions you are hearing. You should flush your water heater tank out twice a year, or call a technician to do it for you, to avoid loud noises and other issues. If, however, you keep hearing water noises even after you flush your tank out, you may need to replace your system.
- Rusty Water: Water that tastes metallic and/or looks cloudy or foggy may be the result of mineral deposits accumulating in your system. Start by flushing your system out, and if this doesn’t help, replace the tank’s anode rod (this is the component responsible for reducing mineral and bacteria growth in your water heater.) You may also be able to reduce hard, minerally water by installing a water filtration system. Rusty water is not likely to impact your health, but it doesn’t taste great, can irritate the skin and the hair, and may wear down your plumbing system faster. As a result, if your water heater keeps deteriorating and minerals keep accumulating, you will probably need to install a new unit.
- Slow Water/Malfunctioning Pressure Relief Valve: Your water heater’s pressure relief valve is essential for successful system operation, so if you notice this component is malfunctioning, you may have a big problem on your hands. You will probably first spot a faulty pressure relief valve when your hot water starts having trouble flowing through your pipes. Adjust the valve if you find this is happening, raising and lowering it several times. If water continues to have trouble flowing through your pipes, or if your pressure relief valve is leaking, you will want to replace the valve, or if necessary, the whole water heater, to prevent severe damage from occurring. And speaking of leaks…
- Leaks/Pooling Water: If you notice water leaking from your heater’s tank or pooling at the base of the unit, you must take action right away. This can happen over time due to corrosion and general wear and tear, or as a result of other kinds of damage. Find your water heater’s shut-off valve if you notice this is happening, and completely turn off the flow of water before proceeding any further. You will want to call a technician right away to ensure your tank doesn’t overheat, as this can happen when leaks occur. If your tech finds the tank is corroded enough, your system will likely have to be replaced.