Its more than a little frustrating when you turn on your shower in the morning and feel cold water.  A functioning water heater that meets the needs of your household is essential to modern life.  You rely on hot water to wash your dishes and clothes.  Your water heater also lets you enjoy warm showers instead of cold ones. A water heater that is failing may also cause water leaks or floods!  It is essential to understand the warning signs that your water heater is dying to avoid disruption and potential destruction.

What are the Signs of a Failing Water Heater?

Lack of Hot Water

Is your water feeling cooler when you shower?  Does your water start our warm and turn cold?  These are common symptoms of a water heater that is in the process of failing.  Most water heaters do not stop working suddenly, there is a decline in performance.  Watch for the signs!  In some cases, you can prevent a total collapse of your system by contacting a licensed plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.   If your water is COLD or your water heater starts leaking, the unit needs immediate attention!  A small leak can turn into a flood causing damage to your home.

Dirty Looking Water

When you run your hot water does it look dirty or rusty?  If so, the inside of your water heater may be rusting.  In some cases, discolored water can be attributed to lack of use or be a byproduct of galvanized pipes.  If your water is rusty or discolored, contact a licensed plumber to determine if your water heater is the culprit.  A water heater that is rusting away will eventually leak.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

Water is collecting around your tank

Is water starting to puddle around your tank?  Water gathering on the floor is a warning sign that your water heater is not working properly.  You should never see water pooling around your unit!  You may have a small fracture or leak in the tank.  Again, leaks indicate your tank is breaking down.  Small leaks can turn into a flood in your home.  If you have determined the leak is not due to a bad fitting or connection, contact a licensed plumber to service, repair or replace your water heater.  

Your water heater has been around for a while

How old is your water heater?  Appliances don’t last forever.  Water heaters over 10 years old typically need to be replaced.  If you know how old your water heater is, you are one step ahead.  If your water heater is a newer model, the heater’s age may be printed on the manufacturers label attached to the unit.  If you have no idea how old your unit is a little research on line will supply the answer. Write down the unit’s serial number and manufacturer.  Typically, the manufacturer website will have clear instructions on determining age.

You are hearing strange noises

Are you hearing banging, cracking or popping noises coming from your water heater?  Those types of noises are indicators that your water heater is not working properly and may be ready to break down completely.  Noise indicates that the inside of the heater and the heating element has a mineral build up.  Contact a licensed professional who can assess the situation and recommend the proper course of action.

What do you do when your water heater is displaying symptoms of failure?

If you are concerned about water heater failure or if you discover any of the warning signs above, contact the professionals at The Clean Plumber.  We understand how disruptive plumbing problems can be to your life. Our business is built on helping you get past your plumbing issue quickly and effectively, so you can get on with what’s important to you.