Warning Signs Your Water Heater Is About to Fail

Few things are more invigorating than a hot shower in the morning before work or after a hard workout at the gym. Being able to stand there and soak under the hot water is bliss! That is, until the hot water runs cold and you’re left frantically trying to wash the shampoo out of your hair before you freeze to death.

Hot water heaters are the subject of some of the most common plumbing repairs in Raleigh, NC. The problem is that they’re often “out of sight, out of mind” until something goes wrong. We take our hot water supply for granted until it’s disrupted by a faulty water heater.

Thankfully, you can avoid the terror of a cold shower by paying a little more mind to your water heater. Here are a few warning signs and tips you can adhere to that’ll give you insight to a hot water heater on the brink of failure:

  • If you’re getting inconsistent temperatures from your hot water, your water heater is likely on the decline. Problems achieving the right temperature and maintaining it means your unit is developing a heating issue. It may seem like it’ll “work itself out,” but that’s unlikely. Call a plumber before it fails altogether.
  • If your supply of hot water lasts for less than the time it takes you to shower, you’ve got trouble brewing! Your water heater should be able to supply enough for a hot shower—maybe even two full showers if you’re efficient. Just a few minutes of hot water signals mineral deposits within the tank, leading to inefficient heating.
  • Hearing popping or rumbling noises from the depths of your basement? It might be your water heater trying to tell you it needs plumbing repairs in Raleigh, NC! These noises are caused by mineral buildups and sediment in the tank. When water is heated, pockets of air trapped within these buildups pop, causing the noise.
  • Is your hot water looking cloudy? If cold water comes out clear but hot water has a haze to it, you’ve got a bad anode rod and a water heater that’s on its way out. The anode rod in your tank is designed to attract minerals and other deposits, so they don’t end up in your water or as sediment at the bottom of the tank. When the rod loses its constitution (which happens over time), your cloudy water will reflect the need for service.
  • Take a look at your tank. Is it leaking at all? If it is, waste no time in calling a plumber—a failure isn’t far off! Leaks from your tank generally indicate cracks at the base. These cracks can sap the water heater’s efficiency, or worse, cause unwarranted pressure release that blows a hole in the bottom of your tank! Turn off the hot water and start dialing a plumber!

Your water heater is one of the most-used plumbing conveniences in your home. Give it the same attention and care you would for a sink or toilet, and don’t let it get to the point of failure. Watch for these signs and act on them quickly if you want to preserve your gloriously hot showers!

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