Water heater failure often comes as a big surprise. However, a sudden shot of cold water from your faucets or shower isn’t typically the first sign of a breakdown. There are a few symptoms that can signal impending failure, meaning it’s time to call a professional for water heater repair or replacement.
Be Aware of These Indicators
Repairing tank and tankless water heaters can enable them to last years longer. It also avoids an inconvenient breakdown (if you need to replace your appliance, you’ll benefit from reliable hot water and greater energy efficiency). The appliance may be breaking down if:
The Water Heater Is Old
Well-maintained water heaters typically have an 8-to-10-year lifespan. A unit’s age may not mean it’s going to fail immediately unless there are noticeable warning signs. You can also choose to replace the appliance to avoid breakdowns and water damage. It may therefore be wise not to wait until a leak occurs.
The serial number on the upper part of the unit will tell you when it was built. It contains the manufacturer’s code that starts with a letter, from A through L, representing the month it was made. An “A” represents January, “B” represents February, and so on. The two digits after the letter designate the year. If the code looks like A10#######, it was manufactured in January 2010.
It Is Getting Noisy
The older a water heater gets, the more sediment that builds up in the tank. This is one reason why water heaters have a limited lifespan. Sediment accumulation often causes rumbling, popping, or banging sounds. It can cause a lot of wear inside the appliance, creating holes and cracks that trigger leaks. Efficiency decreases as well since heating water will require more gas or electricity.
Brown or rusty-looking water can mean your water heater is failing. Oftentimes this means the tank has become damaged due to sediment; if there’s lots of it inside, it can get into your water supply, changing the color. The coloration can also be due to corrosion. If the metal in the appliance is corroded, the odds of a leak are high.
Rust-colored water can come from galvanized pipes as well. Drain water from the unit in large 10-gallon buckets. If it still looks rusty when the third bucket is full, start looking for a replacement.
Water Heater Leakage
Water pooling on the floor around your heater is never a good sign. This likely means the metal tank has worn out. Water heater tanks expand and contract with heating and cooling, which creates small fractures over time. The leakage may stop as the metal cools and start again when it heats up. It’s time for a new appliance unless the leak is coming from nearby pipe fittings or connections.
Cooler Water Temperatures
If the water temperature drops while you’re taking a shower or washing the dishes, there may be faulty heating elements. Contact a plumbing services professional to inspect them and troubleshoot your water heater. Aging models are notorious for becoming less efficient. Your water may be noticeably cooler than normal or be downright cold.
Contact Sky Heating
When you notice signs that your water heater is breaking down, contact Sky Heating. Our seasoned professionals can quickly find and fix any problem, provide water heater repair, or recommend efficient solutions if it’s time to replace your appliance. Furnace repair, drain cleaning, and residential and commercial HVAC services are also provided in Portland, Gresham, and The Dalles. Our ductwork and air quality experts can help as well.
Feel free to schedule a service appointment online or call us directly at 541-275-2918.