No matter what season it is here in Salt Lake City, there is one home comfort system in particular that you will always need, and yet it probably doesn’t get the acknowledgment or appreciation it deserves–your water heater. This system is easy to take for granted–relying on the fact that you’ll have hot water from the taps whenever you need it.
When you take into account the amount of strain a water heater undergoes (it works every day of the year, after all), you can understand that you can’t expect your water heater system to operate 100% free of problems. At one point or another, you’ll probably need professional water heater repairs. But how do you know when this is the case?
Well, here are some signs you can watch out for.
A Decline in Hot Water Volume
Have you discovered that members of your household are complaining about going with lukewarm, or even cold showers each morning? If this is a new problem, and there previously used to be plenty of hot water for everyone during the day, it means your water heater is very likely losing heating power. This is one of the most apparent and common signs that your water heater either needs professional repairs, or, depending on age, replacement.
If you turn on your hot water taps only to see rusty brownish discoloration in the water–maybe similar to what you’d see if you turn on the faucets after coming home from a long vacation and not using your plumbing for a while, it typically means there is too much sediment buildup inside the hot water tank. Discolored water could also mean that the tank is starting to corrode, which we’ll touch on next.
Your tank water heater has two lines of defense against rust and corrosion. The first is a glass lining separating the water from the steel interior of the water heater. The second is a component called the anode rod, which is specifically designed to absorb rust and corrosion. The anode rod must be swapped out every few years or so, otherwise corrosion can begin to impact other parts of the tank. If you see corrosion on the exterior of the water heater tank, then unfortunately it is too late–you need a water heater replacement.
The only place it’s ever relatively “normal” to see a leak coming from a water heater is from the pressure relief valve. Anywhere else indicates a problem with your water heater. You’ll want to have this checked right away before it turns into a much bigger and more urgent situation.
Rumbling Sound from the Tank
We mentioned sediment buildup above. This sediment comes from mineral deposits that are found in hard water–this can include calcium, magnesium, and oftentimes iron too. These are harmless to ingest, but they’re bad for your plumbing, creating buildup that can insulate the heating elements in the water heater and start to corrode the interior of the tank. If you hear this noise, it means there is sediment and your tank needs to be flushed, which we do during maintenance! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.