Water heaters endure wear and tear just like any other appliance in your home. It may take years for them to malfunction depending on the brand and the age, but they'll break down and fail to heat your water eventually. If your water heater is on the fritz, you'll recognize it by paying close attention to the warning signs.
You shouldn't have to wait forever for the water to heat up to the right temperature or to take a shower with lukewarm water. These are signs that the water heater is failing. Mineral deposits in the tank or a bad heating element could be the culprits. A professional can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs to get it working again.
Your bath or shower water should never smell like onions, sulfur, dirt or anything other than plain water. It should also never look brown or rusty. These are signs that the tank or the pipes could have built-up sediment or corrosion. A professional could flush the tank and remedy the problem if you act in time.
Water heaters aren't always silent; they make a humming noise when igniting the burner. If you hear something different, such as strange popping sounds or creaking and rattling, it could indicate a buildup of sediment. You can avoid this problem before it happens if you have a professional routinely flush and service your water heater.
Leaks can form in the water heater unit itself, but they can also form in the pipes and connectors attached to the water heater. Check your water heater (including around it and underneath it) for any dripping water or puddles. Keep in mind that even if a leak only looks like a few drops now, it may not be long before those few droplets become a small flood. Furthermore, leaks can also cause your water heater tank to rust prematurely, which, in turn, can lead to even more leaks.
Water heaters have 3 key features that help them resist corrosion: a glass lining on the interior, a pressure relief valve that allows for an air cushion without letting air into the unit, and a sacrificial anode rod. The anode rod attracts the forces of corrosion to it so that the rod corrodes instead of your water heater.
If you do not replace a worn-out anode rode in time, corrosion will begin to affect your water heater. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see it if the damage is taking place inside the unit. However, corrosion can show itself externally around the temperature and pressure relief valves if the damage is severe enough. Discolored water is another indication of corrosion.
A water heater won't last forever, but you can prolong its life by keeping up with the maintenance. If you hear weird noises or the water won't heat up like it used to, it's important to contact us before it breaks down completely. Payless Water Heaters can inspect the water heater, evaluate the problem and make the necessary repairs or replace it altogether.