Simple Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail

 10/26/2017
 Views: 972
 1 Minute
 Written By Mike's Plumbing

 Tags: 

Simple Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail

Your water heater is undoubtedly one of the most important components of your home, especially in Northwest Indiana. When the cold winter months come around, you'll want to make sure your water heater is up and running with max efficiency. 

However, there are signs to look for that give hints that something is wrong with your water heater. If you notice these signs, it's time to give us a call.

1. How old is your water heater?
In general, if your water heater is more than 10 years old, it should be considered for replacement. If your water heater is in a location that will not cause damage if there is a leak, you can wait until it develops a leak before replacing it, but that really is not recommended.

If your water heater is in a location that will cause damage to your home, you should strongly consider replacing it after 10 years (or before, if any of the following symptoms occur).

2. Rusty water
If you notice rusty water coming from your water heater, this can be a sign that your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it could start leaking soon.

However, there are ways to see if the rust issues are serious before replacing your heater. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater (not the piping) is at fault.

3. Rumbling and noise
As a water heater gets older, sediment will build up on the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden.

When this happens, you can often hear rumbling or clanking sounds coming from the water heater as it is heating up. 

What does this layer of hardened sediment mean?

Less efficiency — the heater will have to use more gas or electricity to heat the water.

More damage — the extra time spent heating the water will cause more wear on the metal tank, leading to brittle metal that can crack and develop tiny holes. If you start to hear rumbling from your water heater, look for any small leaks. 

4. Water around the water heater
If you notice moisture around your water, you may have a small leak or a fracture in the tank. As the metal heats, it expands and if there are slight fractures as part of it, water may leak from the tank. 

Keep in mind that before replacing your water heater, be sure that there are no other leaks coming from the fittings or connections to the tank. Also, make sure the temperature/pressure overflow pipe is not leaking. 

If you are concerned about water heater failure or if you discover any of the signs above, contact us today. We're here to help you out!