It’s the height of summer, and with the heat we try to think cool. Cool rooms, cool drinks, cool showers…they all help to keep us from roasting in the high temperatures. The last thing you’re probably thinking of this time of year is taking a hot shower!
But hold on…fall is coming soon, and with it comes cooler temperatures and an increase in hot water usage. Is your water heater up to the challenge, or is it on its last legs? If you want to be able to enjoy a nice hot shower on chilly mornings throughout the fall and winter, you need to make sure your water heater is still working properly.
6 Signs Your Water Heater Is Going to Fail
Luckily there are warning signs of impending water heater failure that, if heeded, can help you avoid a worst-case scenario (i.e. no hot water at all!). If you see any of these signs, call a water heater professional who can diagnose and fix the problem, or replace the water heater altogether, if needed.
- Water is leaking from the heating tank – If you see water dripping from the tank or pooling under the water heater, you’ve got a leak. (You may also see water dripping from nearby pipes.) Sometimes it’s an easy fix – a valve may need closing, or a connection may need tightening. If there’s an actual leak in the tank, however, you’ll need to replace your water heater.
- You’re running out of hot water quickly – There’s nothing worse than having the hot water run out on you right in the middle of your shower. If you keep running out of hot water when bathing, doing the dishes, or washing your hands, that’s a sign that your water heater cannot keep up with the demand.
One problem may be an accumulation of sediment, often due to having hard water (which Colorado is known for). The buildup of sediment leaves less space for hot water in the tank, thus causing you to run out of it quickly. Regular flushing of your water heater can help (done every other year or so), but if it doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to look into getting a new one. A plumber can make a recommendation for the best option.
- The water temperature is inconsistent – If your hot water runs hot, then cold, then hot, then cold…, that’s another sign of a failing water heater. Sometimes it’s just the thermostat that needs fixing, but if the heating elements are broken, you should think about just getting a new water heater, especially if it is older than 7 years.
- You see discolored water from the faucets – Seeing murky brown or rust-colored water from the faucets in your home? That’s a sign that the interior coating of the water heater tank is beginning to thin, causing rust to form inside the tank. Replacing the anode rods and/or flushing the unit can help, but if it doesn’t, that means the tank is probably shot.
- You hear strange noises in the water heater – If you hear weird noises coming from your water heater, that probably means the water heater element is going bad. This may be caused by any number of issues, so it’s best to have a professional come and take a look at it to see if it can be fixed or if you need a new unit.
- Your water heater is over 10 years old – Water heaters don’t last forever – in fact, they typically have a life of 10-15 years. Yes, it’s going to cost you some money, but newer units are more energy-efficient than older ones, and can save you money in the long run.
If you see any of the above signs of a failing water heater, call Garvin’s – water heater repair and water heater replacement are just a couple of the many plumbing services we offer. We’ll make sure you have plenty of hot water for the cooler months ahead!