Your home’s water heater is one of the most expensive—if not the most expensive—components of your plumbing system. With this in mind, when something is amiss you’ll want to take care of it right away. But how do you know when something’s wrong? Thankfully, many common water heater problems are fairly easy to figure out, though you will want to have a professional take care of your repairs right away. So, what water heater symptoms should you watch out for?
Is your water too hot? Or perhaps it isn’t hot enough? Fixing the problem is sometimes as simple as adjusting the thermostat on the unit, ensuring it’s between 120 and 140 degrees. If it is set correctly, then it may be time to have the tank flushed out, as mineral buildup can prevent the water from heating up fully. However, if there’s no hot water coming from your tank at all, the problem could be a broken heating element.
Noise coming from within your water heater is indicative of hard-water scale that has accumulated inside the tank and broken off. You will need a professional who is experienced in water heater repairs to drain the tank and clean out the sediment.
Have you noticed water pooling near your water heater? This means that water is very likely leaking from the tank via a leaky pipe or loose valve. If you don’t see leaky pipes, you can try to tighten the valve and see if that helps. However, if it does not, the problem could be a faulty valve, an obstructed vent, or a malfunctioning heating element.
Typically, a conventional water heater will last 10–15 years. After this time, repairs may not be very economical. As older systems have experienced a lot of wear and tear over the years, it may be best to invest in replacing your water heater.