If your home’s water heater is tucked in the basement or a utility space you rarely enter, it can be easy to forget this appliance exists. Each time you turn on a hot water faucet, the warm water appears, and we all take it for granted. However, on that one miserable day when you are greeted by cold water, you suddenly appreciate the service that your water heater once provided.
This is an unfortunate and typically very avoidable situation if you know the warning signs of a water heater that is about to reach the end of its life of service. In reality, the symptoms are not all that subtle if you know what to look for and are willing to be proactive. A call to your licensed plumber when you see these indications of impending doom can save you from a day or two of cold showers and glares from the rest of your family, who is not happy with no hot water.
When you begin to notice that your hot water is not consistently hot or does not get as hot as it once did, you should prepare for a new unit or at least a call to your plumber for a repair. If the water never gets hot, the heating element could be failing or coated in an insulating blanket of sediment. If the unit is over ten years old, a replacement will probably be the cost-effective choice. But let your plumber have a look to see if a repair could get you another few years of reliability.
Loud popping and crackling sounds from a water heater can be unsettling. It sounds like the unit is about to explode. However, the issue is likely to be excessive sediment that is burning off of the heating element. In some cases, you can eliminate the problem by draining and flushing the holding tank. However, if you have let this noise continue for too long, the inside of the holding tank could be corroded and damaged. If that is the case, the water heater will need to be replaced before it begins to leak hot water all over the floor. Again, your plumber can give you an idea of the life left in your water heater.
If you see small puddles near your water heater, the issue is indeed a leak. But depending on the location of the leak, it could be repairable. Your licensed plumber can make a very cost-effective repair if the leak is in a fitting, pipe, or valve. However, if the holding tank wall has been compromised by rust or corrosion, there is no safe way to fix it. A new water heater is a must to eliminate the leak and the potential hazard.
If you have noticed that your hot water has a slight yellow tiny or contains pieces of grit or rust, it is time to go shopping. Unfortunately, once the coating on the inside of the water heater holding tank is compromised, there is no way to repair it or restore the quality of your hot water without installing a new water heater.
All of these issues have one other variable. The age of your home’s water heater will play a part in your decision to repair or replace your water heater. If the unit is only a few years old, a reliable licensed plumber can fix most issues. However, as it nears the decade mark, you are better off investing in a new, more energy-efficient water heater. Call (937) 749-7097 for a free estimate from the pros at Buckeye Plumbing & Property Solutions.