You rely on your water heater every single day—but how often do you think about it? For most people, the answer is “not often”. That’s not surprising, given that water heaters are designed to be low-maintenance appliances. However, even the best-designed and most well-made water heater can run into trouble from time to time.
Water Heater Trouble
The good news? In most cases, water heater problems give off warning signs before they turn into full-blown disasters. Learning to recognize water heater trouble warning signs can help you avoid costly repairs. Or, in the worst-case scenario, a complete replacement.
If you start to notice rust in your water, it’s a sign your water heater is corroding on the inside. In general, this is not something that can be fixed with a simple repair; once rust has started to form, it’s only a matter of time before the entire unit needs to be replaced. If you see rust in your water, it’s important to call a professional as soon as possible. They can assess the situation and determine whether you need a water heater repair or a new water heater.
No Hot Water
Of course, one of the most obvious signs something’s wrong with your water heater: if it stops producing hot water. This could be due to a faulty heating element or thermostat. It could also be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a broken dip tube (the plastic tube that carries cold water to the bottom of the tank). If your water heater isn’t producing hot water, it’s best to call a professional right away so they can diagnose and fix the problem.
If you start to notice any leaks around your water heater, it’s important to take action immediately. In many cases, leaks are indicative of a corroded tank; if left unaddressed, they will only get worse over time and could eventually lead to extensive damage to your home. If you have any suspicion whatsoever that your water heater is leaking, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help.
In some cases, you might not see anything out of the ordinary—but you might start to hear something unusual coming from your water heater. If you hear popping, banging, or other strange noises coming from your unit, it could be due to sediment build-up on the bottom of the tank. While this isn’t necessarily indicative of an immediate problem, it’s something that should be addressed sooner rather than later; if left unaddressed, sediment build-up can lead to serious corrosion and other problems down the line.
Your home’s water heater is designed to provide years of reliable service. That doesn’t mean it will never run into trouble. From rusty water to unusual noises, there are several different warning signs that indicate trouble may be brewing with your unit. Recognizing these warning signs early on can help you avoid costly repairs or replacements down the road. Be sure to keep an eye out for these four common warning signs next time you think about your home’s water heater.
About the Writer: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.