Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail
Most people take their hot water heater for granted until problems arise. But you don’t need to be blindsided by a malfunctioning water heater. Knowing the signs that your water heater is nearing the end if its lifespan can help you avoid unpleasant surprises and prepare for replacing it before it gives out completely. Watch for these signs that it may be time to replace your water heater.
One of the biggest indicators of whether your water heater is near the end of its life is its age. But you don’t need to rely on memory to tell how old your water heater is. The date it was manufactured is actually stamped in its serial number. It won’t look like a date to you until you understand the code used by the manufacturer, probably to make the information a little less obvious. Many manufacturers, like Kenmore, use the letter A through L to indicate the month, with A representing January, B for February and so on through the 12th letter of the alphabet. Next in line comes the year indicated with two digits. As a rule, water heaters are expected to last for ten years. If your water heater is close to this mark, take that as a good sign that your water heater could fail soon.
As water heaters age and begin to wear out, they may develop leaks. Watch for wet spots on the floor around the water heater and take action right away if you notice signs of a leak. A minor leak can spread quickly and may flood your home expectantly as the leak gives way. Take leaks of any size as your cue to replace your water heater before the problem wreaks havoc with your home.
Rusty, smelly or cloudy water can also be a sign that your water heater has seen better days. This occurs as the inside of your water tank begins to rust and contaminates the water. You may also notice mineral deposits and detect either a metallic or sulfur odor in your water. To determine whether your water tank needs to be replaced or if replacing the anode rod will do the trick, call your local plumber.
Water heaters are virtually soundless as they heat the water in the tank, but as they age and begin to wear, you may notice more noise from the tank. If you hear rumbling, popping or banging noises coming from your water heater, take it as a sign that you may need to replace the heater soon. This occurs when mineral deposits build up inside the unit. Because the minerals insulate the water, your water heater must work harder and harder to heat the water. The noises you hear signal your water heater is over-working and is likely to give out soon.
Being proactive and watching for signs your water heater is failing allows you to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you are ready to replace your water heater or would like a professional assessment of its health, contact us today. We can help you with all of your plumbing needs.