The water heater in your house is an essential appliance. It gives you access to hot water. So you can take showers, wash dishes, and do laundry.
Water heaters can sometimes be complicated to understand. But they play an absolutely crucial role in our daily lives. If you suspect that your heater is failing, what would you do?
Let’s take a look at nine signs you need immediate water heater repair: don’t ignore these red flags.
Many people only realize their water heaters are failing once cold water suddenly flows from their fixtures. You should know the indications that your water heater is failing so you can catch it before it reaches this point.
Signs You Need Water Heater Repair Service
1. Water Temperature Fluctuations
Water temperature changes are a telltale sign of trouble with a water heater. The temperature will keep fluctuating even if you don’t adjust the water temperature. Depositions of minerals around the water heater’s heating elements are usually to blame.
If you see this sign, you must get your water heater checked by a professional. You will find decent licensed plumbers all over the country. So whether you are looking for a professional to repair your water heater in Chula Vista or Bellevue, you will find one!
2. Lower than Normal Hot Water Pressure
The water heater could be the source of your low water pressure, though there are other possible causes as well. The accumulation of minerals in heating components or in pipes can cause temperature and water pressure issues. Older water heaters also tend to have lower water pressure.
Reduced water pressure from mineral deposits is another way mineral buildup can damage your water heater. The collection of sediment in the water heater’s heating elements might cause pipe clogging. That means the water flowing out of the water heater is under less pressure.
3. Leaking water heater
Leaks in water heaters are particularly problematic since they have a steady supply of water, and their tanks carry a lot of hot water. You should take immediate action if you notice water collecting at the base of your water heater. Water heater leaks can occur for a variety of reasons.
You can typically fix the problem with simple repair techniques if the leak comes from somewhere within the water tank, such as a broken cold or hot water connection, a malfunctioning drain valve, worn gaskets, or internal corrosion.
When the leak is not fixed, it can worsen, requiring you to pay for repairs to any flooding and to hire a plumber to replace the water heater.
4. Strange Noises From the Heater
Gas water heaters usually produce a low buzzing noise as they age from the strain of continuous use.
Sediments may have settled to the bottom of the tank and are catching fire whenever they come into contact with the heating elements, causing the water heater to make popping, cracking, or pounding noises.
Sediment buildup may seem like a minor matter at first, but it will eventually prevent the heating element from reaching the water and will require either an anode rod replacement or a new water heater. It can be temporarily fixed by flushing the tank. But if silt accumulates quickly, you’ll need to replace it.
5. Corrosion Symptoms
Corrosion on a water heater is not a good sign. Usually, it means that it’s time for you to replace the device. Corrosion or rust on the outside of the water heater, or discolored, brown water, are telltale signs that something is wrong.
Replacement of the heat converter and other corroded components allows it to function for some persons. This is a stopgap measure while you save up for a new heater, but it won’t last forever. The typical lifespan of a water heater is between 8 and 12 years.
6. Water Color Change
Naturally, you only want clear water to flow from your water taps. High pressure can make it appear cloudy, but the sky should be clear as day as it settles down.
Brownish, rusty, or particle-filled water is likely the result of a malfunctioning water heater. The water turns a murky brown because of the silt in it. It can cause significant health damage to your family members.
To restore clear water, either have a professional come fresh the water heater tanks or leave the water supply running for a while. The rustiness of your tank may be at blame if this doesn’t work.
7. Cloudy Water and Foul Odor
Water from the taps may be murky and have an odd odor occasionally. The deposits of minerals near the water heater are responsible for the water’s new feel and scent, so if you notice a difference, it’s time to call for a water heater replacement.
Additionally, odorous water may indicate a bacterial illness within the tank. Because the water may be unsafe to drink, this needs fixing promptly.
8. Inadequate Supply of Hot Water
The sole purpose of your water heater is to get your water hot. Many liters of hot water can be found in a water heater at any given moment. But sometimes there is not enough supply of hot water.
You know when one of the water heater’s elements is broken if it fails to provide hot water when you really need it.
9. Increased Energy Bills
So, let’s say you’ve seen an unexplained rise in your energy expenses over time. In this situation, sediments may have accumulated inside your heater, preventing the heating components from making direct contact with the water and requiring more energy to heat the same volume of water.
In most cases, this issue can be fixed by draining out sediment so that it no longer acts as insulation for the heating elements. But if the issue persists, another water heater might be in order.
Depending on the age of your heater, upgrade to a newer model. Make sure it is more energy-efficient; it can save you cash over the long term.
DIY Water Heater Repair: Steps to Follow
If you run out of hot water frequently, it is time to repair the water heater. Follow this step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Turn off the water to the water heater.
Your water heater’s inlet valve should be on a pipe above or beside the unit itself. If the lever is parallel to the pipe, the valve is open. While you’re working on the tank, no water will go in.
Step 2: Disconnect the water heater from the power source.
Locate the two water heater circuits in your home’s electrical breaker box. Avoid getting shocked while working by turning off the switches.
Step 3: Switch off the circuit breakers and check the water heater’s ports.
Checking with a multimeter might help you determine which breakers are responsible for the appliance. The display voltage should be zero. The water heater’s heating element should not be powered by electricity if you plan on using it while you’re busy.
Step 4: Completely flush the water heater.
To empty your tank:
Find the drain valve and attach the hose’s end to it.
Connect the other side of the hose to a drain, like the one on your basement floor or your bathroom sink.
Turn off the power to your water heater and use cable lock pliers or a screwdriver to open the valve for drainage at the bottom of the tank.
Step 5: Turn the knob that opens the door to the heater.
You can get to the water heater’s thermostat and heating element by removing the access panel, which is often situated on one side of the heater or close to its base.
Please remove the access panel with a screwdriver and put it somewhere safe.
Step 6: Separate the wires from the element and mark them clearly.
Two screws and red and black cables attach the heating element to the access panel’s lower half. Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws, then remove the wires. Use masking tape to indicate which screws the wires were connected to as you remove them.
Step 7: Take off the water heater’s heating element by unscrewing it.
Grab the hexagonal nut hiding behind the screws with a set of channel lock pliers. To loosen the heating element, rotate it counterclockwise. Keep turning the heating element’s screws counterclockwise until you can easily remove them from the tank.
Step 8: Use a wire brush to clean the heating element.
Depositions of calcium from the water can build up on your heating element and reduce its efficiency over time. Arrange the heating element horizontally, then scrub its coil with a wire brush. Remove every bit of the mess as you can.
Step 9: Connect the tank’s heater back in.
Put the wire back in the tank and begin hand-tightening the element. The heating element can be hand-tightened, and then the channel lock pliers can be used to secure it. Connect the wires by looping them around the corresponding screws, then snugging them down.
Step 10: Use your tank again by turning on the electricity and water.
Once you’ve reinstalled the heater, you can turn the electricity back on by switching the breakers. Then, activate the water valve by turning the lever in the direction of the pipes. Hot water should return after the tank is refilled.
Even with regular maintenance, your water heater needs to be fixed quickly if there are any signs you need immediate water heater repair.
Have the water heater checked out at least once a year. That way, these problems can be fixed before they get worse.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q.1. What will happen if the leaky water heater is not repaired?
Answer: There is a risk of electrocution if electrical components are submerged in water, and leaks can cause further flooding in the area. Remember that water damage or leaks from a brand-new tankless water heater may result from a manufacturing flaw covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Q.2. What is the most common cause of a water heater malfunction?
Answer: The most typical problem with a water heater is a leak that causes water damage. Because water is corrosive, your water heater’s tank will develop tiny fissures and start leaking over time.
Q.3. How long can you expect a water heater to last?
Answer: A propane water heater can last between 8 and 12 years with periodic inspection, exhausting, and flushing, while an electric one can last between 10 and 15 years with similar maintenance.
Q.4. When should you worry about your water heater?
Answer: Consider getting a new tank water heater if your current one is older than ten years.