Faulty water heater

What Are the Signs of a Faulty Water Heater?

Indicators of a Water Heater in Need of Service

Water heaters tend to be an overlooked aspect of home maintenance until an unexpected cold shower wakes homeowners to the reality that they may have an issue. Recognizing the early signs that a water heater needs professional attention can save people from inconvenient disruptions and potential damage. This blog will delve into key signals that a water heater may need a plumber’s expertise.

The Water Heater Makes Strange Noises 

strange noisesA water heater shouldn’t make any loud noise. A homeowner should call a professional if they hear unusual sounds from a water heater like: 

  • Rumbling or banging: Sediment can build up inside the hot water tank. If a homeowner hears rumbling or banging, that could mean there’s too much sediment in the system, requiring maintenance, including flushing the tank
  • Hissing or dripping: This could indicate a leak in the water heater. If unaddressed, this could lead to water damage and high utility bills. 
  • Screeching: This could be the result of loose valves and air escaping. 

Strange noises from the water heater are more than inconveniencing; they could point to an issue that needs immediate attention. These problems will not get better on their own. Without professional attention, they will get worse. 

Discolored or Foul-Smelling Water Comes From the Tap 

discolored and fouled smelling waterIt’s not safe (or wise) to bathe or drink discolored or foul-smelling water. For one thing, it could indicate an issue with the local water supply. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that contaminants can enter the water supply from many sources. 

However, the issue could also lie with the water heater. Discolored or strange-smelling water can happen when: 

  • Too much sediment in the water heater tank has built up, and maintenance has been neglected, leading to internal corrosion. The corrosion could flake off, giving the water a different look and smell. 
  • The unit’s anode rod has corroded. The water heater’s anode rod attracts sediment to prevent tank corrosion. Over time, this piece can wear out and stop working, allowing for corrosion inside the water heater if it’s not replaced during maintenance.

Besides corrosion in the water heater, pipe corrosion can also cause a change in the water’s appearance and smell. Plumbers can help determine the cause of problems in and outside the water heater and suggest the best solution. 

There Is a Leak 

When a water heater leaks, it requires immediate attention from a professional. Depending on the severity of the leak and its location, it may be repairable or require replacement. If the leak is coming from a valve or pipe connection, for example, then tightening that joint may fix the issue without needing to replace any components. 

However, a replacement may be necessary if there are signs of corrosion or the tank is leaking. If left unaddressed, even a small leak could result in water damage, high utility costs, and water pressure problems.  Homeowners should call a trusted plumber as soon as they suspect something is wrong with their water heaters to prevent any damage from worsening. 

About Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated company serving Santa Maria and the surrounding communities since 1993. They provide reasonable rates, same-day service, and on-time service. Call them today for water heater repair or replacement in Santa Maria, CA.

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