Nothing in your home lasts forever, and your water heater is no exception. While 10 years is the typical lifespan of any unit, various signs could point to a failing water heater even before that time. Odd bumps in the night, cold showers and poor water quality could all be signs of trouble.
Is the water heater noisier than it once was? It might be time for a new unit. While it’s normal to hear some noise as the burner kicks on, strange and excessive sounds are signs of a failing water heater.
Rumbling, creaking or banging sounds have a few causes, and none of them should be ignored. For one, these sounds could indicate excess sediment buildup in the tank. Every water heater collects sediment deposits, but problems creep up over time when it hardens due to the tank constantly heating up and cooling, reducing the space available for water.
Alternatively, the problem could be the result of small leaks and holes inside the water heater, which not only reduce efficiency but can lead to damage in your home. If sediment is already turning into an issue, holes are even more likely to develop because the unit is simply working too hard and spending too much time heating your water.
Possible remedy: Flush the tank to loosen and remove sediment buildup. Your water heater has to work overtime to do its job when debris is in the way. If this doesn’t work, replace the unit.
Brrr! Running so short on hot water that it’s impossible to enjoy your shower? Maybe the water just takes forever to warm up when it’s time to wash the dishes. Either way, there’s a problem.
So, you run out of hot water too soon. That pesky sediment problem is a prime culprit here, too. When the sediment collects, your water supply is walled off away from the heating element. The result? A nice, cold shower. Flush the system for a possible fix.
The other issue is that the water just never really warms up to begin with, or it takes too long. The likely problem? Components inside the water heater are failing. The top two here are the thermostat and heating element. Luckily, these can be replaced, but if it doesn’t work? New unit!
Water not coming out so clear these days? A mild brown hue to your H2O could be the result of pipe problems, but could also point to rust inside the water heater.
It’s tricky to navigate diagnosing this issue, because you have to determine if the water heater is even at fault, rather than piping. To troubleshoot, fill a few buckets with water. Try a few with cold water and some with only hot water. Are only the hot water buckets murky? If so, the problem lies with the water heater.
A new water heater should be installed at this point. Moving forward, however, rust issues are simple to prevent. When the new heater is in place, install one or two magnesium, aluminum or zinc anode rods to protect the unit from rust accumulation. Water should remain clearer, free of metallic taste and the unit will have a longer life.
Certain water heater issues can be fixed by flushing the system or repairing a component or two, for sure. But often the simplest solution to a failing water heater is to replace it. That’s where we come in. Terry’s Plumbing offers Rheem tankless water heaters, a quality green solution for your home. Get in touch today for information about purchase and installation.