A reliable steady supply of hot water is a necessity. It goes beyond the comfort of a hot shower or bath. Dishwashers utilize the hot water line to boost temperatures for proper sanitation. Washing machines also hook into the hot water supply for certain cleaning cycles. Unfortunately, over time hot water units wear down and ultimately break. Here are a few early warning signs to keep an eye out for before a hot water unit completely fails.
Older Water Heaters
When Should I Replace It?
Most if not all water heaters have a manufacturer's sticker on the tank near the top, usually just above the gas valve. You can check the exact age by pulling the serial number off the tag and looking it up. If the water heater is out of warranty or greater than 10 years old, then start thinking about replacement units. As time roars on, the chances of catastrophic failure go up every year. A simple way to help ensure the prolonged operation is by completing annual tank/sediment flushes. However, all good things must come to an end and your water heater is no exception.
If you're in the market for a new water heater, visit our water heater installation page to explore the differences between conventional and tankless options.
Hot Water Comes Out Rusty
Dirty Water, Metallic Taste & Leaking Tanks
Rusty colored hot water is not normal and needs to be investigated. If you're seeing rust at the faucet the tank is likely rusted from the inside out. Water heaters usually start leaking shortly after rust-colored water becomes visible. You can try to remove the sediment build-up by flushing the tank (only do this if the tank is on the newer side). However, if you are pouring bucket after bucket of rusty colored water down the drain, chances are you need a new unit. If the water continues to have a dirty appearance or a metallic taste, get it changed asap.
Where's All The Hot Water?
Sudden Changes In Hot Water Temperatures
Does the hot water suddenly stop in the middle of a shower? Is the bathtub filling up luke-warm at best? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you'll likely need your water heater replaced. This is the most common symptom before failure. Rust and sediment build-up and separate the water from the heating element. It reduces the volume capacity of your tank and it's heating ability.
Water Heater Making Noises
Knocks, Rumbles & Groans
The older a water heater gets the more susceptible it is to making noises. The sediment build-up inside the water heater hardens and rehardens as temperatures rise and fall. This takes up a lot of space inside the unit and the noises are from solids shifting inside the water heater. Additional time is needed to heat the water to temperature. This, in turn, leads to cracks, wear and tear, and finally, leaks.
Hot Water Heater Leaks
A leaking water heater can cause a lot of property damage. If you discover a puddle, it's better to get it fixed sooner than later. Start by checking all the fittings and connections. Next, check the temperature and pressure overflow pipe. Finally, turning off the water heater will sometimes stop the leak temporarily. When metal gets hot it constricts, when it cools off it expands. The cooling off process can self seal the leaks temporarily until a qualified plumber can evaluate the situation. A leaking water heater almost always requires a new until be installed.
Replacing Your Water Heater
If you have a water heater with one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms, we can help. Green Tech Plumbing has been repairing and installing hot water heaters for more than a decade. Our team of experts can guide you through all the hurdles of picking out a new unit and getting it installed. Check out our water heater service page for more info or contact us now to get started on your free estimate.