This week, we're really happy to have the expertise and wisdom of the awesome Tom Geromanos, ServiceOne's plumbing field manager.
Recognizing a problem with your water heater is important. Not only will it help you identify an upcoming bigger issue that can possibly prevent you from losing hot water, but you’ll extend the life of your tank or tankless water heater.
Here’s how to know your water heater may need a repair.
1. Your Water Heater is Leaking
Your water heater may occasionally show condensation on the outside, a reaction based on the water’s temperature and the room it’s located in. This is normal.
Here’s when you worry…
You should be alarmed when there is a steady dripping down the side of the unit or a puddle of water at the base. Metal expands when heated, so if it expands too much or enough over time, a break can form.
There are several consequences to not addressing a leak. Depending on where the unit is located, carpet or other flooring may be damaged, as well as any items near the water heater. Leaks can lead to other hazards like the increased chance of scalding, gas leaks, fire, or even explosions.
Some leaks cannot be repaired and replacement is the only option. If this is the case, our plumbing professionals will help you make the best-educated decision possible by providing you with detailed options on the next steps. Call ServiceOne and we will send out a highly trained plumbing professional to fully inspect your water heater.
2. Discolored or Smelly Water
If rusty or smelly water is coming from just the hot side of your plumbing system, it may be an issue inside the water tank. A sacrificial rod is located inside of the water heater that is meant to attract minerals in the water to help protect and extend the life of your water heater. When this rod starts to fail it will often cause smelly or discolored water. Discoloration in your water could potentially cause health hazards, so if you discover what looks like rust or discoloration, call a plumber right away.
Cloudy water can also mean there’s an issue with the water heater. If you’re suspicious, pour water into a clear glass to see how it looks. Also, give it a smell, checking for anything resembling a metallic odor. Many of these issues are caused by mineral deposits that can collect over time. Sometimes, smelly water on the hot side can be caused by a lack of use of the water heater. This could also be caused by the water in your water heater not being hot enough. Most bacteria will die in water above 120 degrees. It is recommended that you set your water heater at a minimum of 120 degrees.
Rust, however, signals a deeper issue. If you notice rust, even when cold water is running, the culprit is more likely in your pipes. Call ServiceOne and we will send out a highly trained plumbing professional to fully inspect your water heater.
3. Limited or No Hot Water
Limited or no hot water is probably one of the most obvious reasons to pay attention to your water heater. The water heater’s primary function is to heat water and either store it (in a tank water heater) or pass it directly to your faucet or showerhead (as with a tankless heater). When your hot water is severely delayed, only reaching lukewarm, or not heating at all, it’s time to call a licensed and professional plumber to inspect your water heater and determine the problem with your water heater. Poor performance is an indicator that something is wrong. (We will discuss maintenance frequency and proper maintenance steps in another blog).
If your water heater is running out of water sooner than usual, there may be a deeper issue. It could be the element or burner, which could not only mean damage but could also be costing you more money with your energy bills.
Mineral deposits can collect over time on the heating elements and combustion chamber of your water heater and can reduce the efficiency and recovery time of your water heater. Call ServiceOne and we will send out a highly trained plumbing professional to fully inspect your water heater.
When to Replace Your Water Heater
Sometimes a repair won’t bring your water heater back to life. There are also times when you may spend money on a repair when the money should go towards a replacement. If this is the case, it may be time to replace your water heater. Also, if your unit is over ten years old, you should consider planning for a new one before it fails. The average life of a water heater in Florida is approximately 12 – 14 years. A new water heater has several benefits, including better efficiency and performance. You also have the opportunity to switch to a tankless heater if you haven’t already.
We’re also really excited about a brand-new type of water heater that is taking the industry by storm. It’s the world’s first-ever on-demand tank water heater. The Essency EXR has a lifespan of 30 years, and it never gets rust, scale build-up, harmful bacteria, or funny smells.
Call ServiceOne and we will send out a highly trained plumbing professional to fully inspect your water heater.
Your Friendly Professional Plumbing Team