Your water heater may continue to provide hot water even when something is damaged. Luckily, there are a few signs you can look out for. If you notice any of the following changes in your water heater, call or text Howe right away to prevent the problem from affecting other parts of your plumbing system.
The Water Heater Is Leaking
Different parts of your water heater can leak, especially as they age. The severity of the problem depends on where the leak is coming from:
- If the leak appears near the top of the water heater, check the piping connections for corrosion or cracking, as either problem may cause a leak. In minor cases, these leaks may be resolved fairly easily.
- The temperature and pressure (T&P) valve may have failed or opened. To check, first find the T&P valve first (it will have a small silver handle on it with a tag). Follow the line coming from it and look for evidence of drips or leaks on the outlet of the discharge pipe, which should be near the floor). This can be caused by several things, including a bad or improperly charged expansion tank. A failed T&P valve may also be a simple fix for our experts.
- Leaks toward the bottom of the water heater may be more severe. The water heater tank itself may have cracked because of age or interior corrosion. If this happens, it’s often better to install a new water heater.
- Another thing to be mindful of is making sure the flue (chimney) piping and the area around the bottom is kept clear on fuel burning water heaters. This allows the water heater to get the air it needs to burn before safety venting it out of your home.
It’s important to resolve leaks quickly to prevent water damage. Not only is it difficult to clean up, but mold and mildew growth can decrease your home’s indoor air quality.
The Water Is Too Hot or Cold
Temperature issues can often stem from sediment buildup, or a problem with the thermostat. If you have an electric water heater, one of the elements may have failed. Sometimes on gas water heaters the pilot goes out, and will need cleaning or replacement. But what if your supply of hot water starts running out more quickly than usual?
The right water heater should be able to supply multiple plumbing fixtures or appliances running at the same time. Changes to your usage habits can result in running out of hot water more quickly, and surprise you with a sharp increase in monthly utility costs.
Rust or Discoloration Appears
As your water heater ages, internal components may begin to rust. Small amounts aren’t always immediately harmful, but scheduling an inspection or repair visit soon is a good idea. Rust eventually leads to corrosion, which can spread to other parts of your plumbing system. Severe rusting or corrosion will often force you to replace the water heater itself.
Even small amounts of rust, chemicals, bacteria or sediment can affect water quality. It may result in discoloration or produce an unpleasant taste or smell. Foul odors can often be resolved by replacing the anode rod. Howe’s expert plumbers will identify the source of your water quality problems and offer solutions.