You probably don’t think about your water heater until it breaks. Maybe you notice a puddle of water around it when you go to the washer and dryer, or perhaps it just doesn’t heat the water one morning. You can catch it before you need water heater repair though by watching for these seven signs. Some deal with water temps, while others do not.
1. It Heats Inconsistently
Life requires consistency in all things, especially your water heater. If you find that it heats to only a lukewarm temperature or heats for a few moments, but then chills or just stays cold, you can call for repairs. This could occur due to mineral deposits, such as calcium and magnesium buildup.
The other reason for your temperature fluctuations could be a broken thermostat. Resetting the thermostat or replacing it can save the water heater.
2. Your Water Heater Makes Strange Noise
Typically, water heaters hum or click once to turn them on. Otherwise, they remain quiet. If you hear hisses, crackles, bangs, or pops, or the water heater makes continuous noise, you need to call the repairperson. The usual suspect is mineral deposits. Cleaning this out fixes the problems so it no longer sounds like an old-fashioned coffee percolator.
3. The Water Is a Strange Color
Discolored water means sediment in the water heater or lines. You should have colorless water coming out of your tap. High pressure in the water lines can sometimes cause it to appear a little hazy, but that becomes colorless when the pressure evens out. Cleaning the tanks can fix this. Otherwise, your tank may be rusted on the interior and then you need to replace it.
4. Your Shower Has No Hot Water Pressure
Brrr. Mineral deposits can also get in the way of your shower’s water pressure and hot water. They can restrict flow or corrode your lines. This also can indicate design flaws in the plumbing system. You might have worn or tangled distribution lines or the pressure regulators might have broken.
5. You Can See the Water Leaking
Phone the repair person. The small leak can grow huge and cause a massive problem, so you need to address any problem quickly to shut it off. The repair to the leak can stop it from growing and rupturing your plumbing lines or causing flooding from your water heater. These develop often at the drain and discharge lines, connective points, and in control valves or the tank.
6. You Notice Condensation Around Your Water Heater
When cold water contacts a hot surface, it causes condensation. This is normal, but if it doesn’t clear up within just a few hours, your water heater has a problem. Condensation is moisture and continual moisture causes the same problems like leaks. You can’t let water buildup in any way on the outside of the tank, lest it cause a mildew or mold problem.
7. Your Water Tastes or Smells Funny
When you notice changes in the taste or smell of the water coming out of your tap, you know you need the repair person. A metallic taste or odor signals a water heater issue. It means the tank corroded. The water may appear a little rust-colored, too. You might have sulfur bacteria in the water heater if it smells like rotten eggs. Other types of bacteria cause a sickly smell. Your water should typically have no scent to it and it should run clean and clear.