rAs a homeowner, you might wonder how you will know when a problem has developed with your water heater. Here are a few signs to look out for that could indicate the need for a professional inspection and repair or replacement if necessary:
You're Hearing Weird Sounds
Over time, minerals and limescale can build up inside of your water heater and cause performance problems that are both inconvenient and stressful. As the minerals and other sediment build up and harden, they can cause your water heater to make strange sounds when it is working.
If your water tank has succumbed to mineral and sediment buildup, you might hear gurgling, rumbling, or popping noises when your water heater is in use. A banging sound might also come from the heater as it works to warm water up. If you're hearing weird sounds coming from your water heater when it's being used, you should have it professionally inspected and repaired if necessary.
Your Showers Aren't Hot Anymore
Don't just assume that other people and appliances in your household have used up all the hot water when you take a shower and the water just isn't as hot as it used to consistently be. You might be able to get your showers warm enough to enjoy, but if you find that the water doesn't regularly get really hot before turning the cold water on, it might be time to have a professional inspect your water heater and repair it if necessary.
Your Water Is Looking Pretty Rusty
That rusty water you're seeing coming out of your faucets once in awhile may not be due to old pipes or a bad water supply. That rust could very well be a result of a rusty old water heater. To find out whether your water heater is the culprit, you can drain a few gallons of water directly from it into some buckets. If the water is rusty, there is likely a lot of rust built up inside the water heater tank that is rotting it away.
If the rust is allowed to continue developing, it could create a leak in your water heater that results in wasted water and structural damage. It's important to schedule a professional inspection for your water heater to catch a rust problem and to clean the tank or replace it altogether.
Whether your water heater is brand new or more than a decade old, none of the signs outlined here should be ignored. You should schedule an appointment with your service provider at the first sign of trouble to avoid facing a breakdown. He or she can tell you what water heater repairs need to be made.