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Indicators of Water Heater Failure

If you don’t want to deal with a lack of hot water, it’s important to keep an eye out for the indicators of water heater failure. Also, if you’re able to spot these indicators, you may be able to repair or replace parts before the heater completely fails.

1. Age of Water Heater

Knowing how old your water heater is can be really helpful when it comes to predicting how close your water heater is to failing. You can get this information by taking a look at the serial number on your water heater. A typical serial number begins with a letter that signifies the month in which the appliance was manufactured. A is January, B is February and so on. The two numbers that follow are the year that the heater was made. For example, D13 would mean the heater was manufactured in April 2013. If your water heater is more than 6 years old, it may be more prone to failure, so it could be time to consider purchasing a new one!

2. Discoloured Water

If you notice that your water heater is producing discoloured or rusty water, this can be a sure sign that your water heater is close to failure. Rusty water, in particular, is a sign that the insides of your water heater could be rusting. Cloudy water can also be an indicator of potential problems, such as mineral sediment gathering in the bottom of your tank. You should also pay attention to the scent and taste of the water. A metallic taste or unusual smell are both also signs of mineral sediment gathering at the bottom of your tank, potentially leading to a failing water heater.

3. Lack of Hot Water

Who likes freezing cold showers? Not many people! Most standard water heaters contain a 30 to 50 gallon storage tank, and as the water gets heated water minerals separate and settle at the bottom the tank. Over time, these deposits can build up and create a barrier between the burner and the water. This means that less heat reaches the water which is why you may notice a lack of hot water after a while. The longer this is left, the higher your water bill will be and the more likely you will need to fully replace the heater – so this is one you definitely shouldn’t ignore!

4. Noise

Do you ever hear a rumbling, popping or banging noise from your water heater as it heats up? This is another indicator of deposits collecting at the bottom of your tank. It occurs most commonly when your heaters are repeatedly heated and cooled (which also reduces the efficiency of your appliance!). Like the others, this is another indicator that your heater is not running properly, and you should look to call a plumber to replace the damaged parts.

5. Leaks

Finally, is water pooling beneath your tank? Corrosion within the water tank can lead to fractures and cracks, in turn leading to leaks. Leaking hot water is an obvious sign of trouble and will require full replacement of the water heating. This is one to really look out for, as leaking water can flood your entire home and cause serious damage if not recognised quickly!

The above points work as indicators of imminent water heater failure and when noticed quickly, will allow you to fix or replace parts, or the whole appliance, before it becomes an emergency. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help!


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