Your water heater is an essential part of your home. Having warm water is necessary for personal hygiene, washing dishes, doing laundry, and so much more that we don’t think about on a regular basis. But what happens when things start going downhill?
A water heater is a hefty expense. We know from working with our customers that the majority of American families can’t just put a water heater on their tabs and call it a day. It’s crucial to know the signs of a failing appliance so that you can better prepare and plan for the cost.
If you’re dealing with an older water heater, keep an eye out for these critical signs that it may be time for a replacement.
Water is cold or dirty
One of the most obvious signs of a defective water heater is in your water itself. If you’re not consistently being dispensed warm or hot water when you should, this is usually your first indication of trouble. In addition, water from a failing water heater may appear rusty, muddy, or discolored due to sediment. It could also taste metallic or smell like rotten eggs. Not pleasant, we know, but if you catch these signs early on, you can stay steps ahead of more serious issues.
Loud, clanging noises coming from your water heater is not only annoying; it’s dangerous. It’s normal to hear humming as water heats, but cracking and popping is usually telling of scale deposits clashing with the heating elements inside the appliance. So that the buildup deposits don’t pose further health risks for your water, it’s best to address this problem sooner rather than later.
Water leaking around the water heater where it hasn’t before is a telltale sign that your water heater has internal failure. For your own safety, it’s absolutely imperative to take care of these leaks as soon as you see them. The electricity must be disconnected and the water must be cooled before you go about replacing the water heater.
Your plumber says so
Ultimately, the most credible person to give you a definitive answer on whether or not you need to replace your water heater is a professional plumber. That being said, what most plumbers - including the staff at Stephens - suggest to prolong water heater life is flushing it out regularly to clean and drain it of anything that could be impeding normal function.
In this instance, “regularly” may mean something different depending on professional recommendation. The average response is to drain your water heater at least once every year. You may feel the need to increase this number as your family grows. Schedule a professional inspection so that a certified technician can help you formulate a plan for long-term maintenance that works for you.