5 Early Signs Your Water Heater is Failing
Most of us take our water heater for granted. It pumps out hot water each day, and we don’t fully appreciate it until all of a sudden it quits on us.
More than likely, there were signs that the end was near, but you just didn’t know what to look for. To avoid the disruption and damage of a failing water heater, you should watch for these four indicators. They could mean that your water heater is on its last legs.
#1 – Insufficient Hot Water
The most common sign of a failing water heater is a lack of hot water. As the water heats, sediment falls to the bottom of the storage tank. As these mineral deposits build, they can act as an insulator. The heat generated by the burner cannot reach the water in the tank, and this causes a couple of bad things.
First, your water won’t get hot.
Second, your temperature never reaches high enough to kick off the burner. This means you use more energy and paying higher utility bills.
#2 – The Age of Your Water Heater
Check to see if the installation date is notated on the sticker. If not, then look at the serial number. It usually indicates the year and month of manufacture of the water heater. For a complete water heater dating chart visit www.nachi.org/water-heater-dating-chart.htm. If your water heater is over ten years old, it is probably time to install a new water heater.
#3 – Rusty Water
Reddish-brown water can be a sign that your water heater is rusting on the inside. Once it rusts through, it will leak, and that is the end. You will be forced to install a new water heater.
A good test to see if your tank is rusting is to drain three 5-gallon buckets of water out of the water heater. If, by the third bucket, the water is still rusty, most likely the issue is the water heater (and not the hot side piping in your home).
#4 – Noises
As a water heater ages, the sediment that builds up on the bottom of the tank and hardens can cause rumbling or banging sounds. This is a sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.
#5 – Water Around the Water Heater
Obviously, water around your tank is not normal. If you notice moisture, you may have a small leak in the tank. However, before you repair or replace your water heater, make sure the leak is not coming from the fittings or connections to the tank. You should also check to make sure the pressure overflow pipe is not leaking. If all of the connections and fittings are dry, it may be time to replace the water heater.