Signs That Your Water Heater May Need To Be Repaired

Posted on: 20 June 2016

If you're like most homeowners, you're familiar with many of the common signs of malfunction among various household appliances and fixtures. For instance, you undoubtably already know that a leaky water heater should be looked at by a professional as soon as possible. Other signs and symptoms, however, might not be so obvious. Following are several indications that your water heater might be on the brink of breaking down. 

Rusty Water Coming From Your Hot Water Faucet 

Rusty water coming from the faucet after you turn on the hot water can be an indication that your hot water heater is failing -- but this scenario is only likely if your hot water heater is old. Newer hot water heaters can produce discolored water for a variety of reasons, including the presence of galvanized iron in your plumbing system or issues with your municipal water supply. To find out whether or not your hot water heater is the culprit, turn on the cold water anywhere in your home. If the water runs clear, the problem lies in your hot water heating tank. 

Unexplained Noises

Unexplained noises coming from your hot water tank are another indication of an impending malfunction. If you hear rumbling, hissing, popping, gurgling, banging, and other odd sounds coming from your hot water heater, this may be caused by sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank of your hot water heater. This sediment will eventually harden as a result of being heated and reheated. This situation is most likely to occur in hot water heaters that are nearing the end of their life spans, and continued use of the unit will probably result in the development of leaks. This situation is more likely to occur in areas with hard water, so consider installing a water softener as a preventative measure if hard water is an issue.

However, fuels system issues can also cause strange noises to come from your water heater, particularly if your fuel source is oil, gas, or propane. Always proceed with caution if you suspect this to be the case -- turn off the hot water heater and call a professional for water heater repair.   

Most hot water heater problems are a result of the age of the unit -- conventional hot water heaters have a lifespan of around 10 to 13 years. The good news, however, is that today's new hot water heaters offer up to 20 percent more efficiency than their counterparts of the past, and that will save you serious money on utility costs.