Not sure what's going on with your home's water heater? If you're experiencing intermittent problems with your water heater's performance, it might be time for water heater repair or replacement. Here are some indications that it's time to stop fighting your water heater and call a plumber.
1. Inconsistent Heating
Has it been too long since you've been able to rely on your water heater to provide you with a hot shower for longer than a few minutes? If you're having problems getting the water to stay heated, you might have an issue with the burners. The burning elements heat the water and when they become damaged or clogged with sediment, it makes it harder for water in tank water heaters to stay heated.
2. Clunking or Popping Noises
All water heaters make noises when they start up. That is part of normal operations. What isn't normal are unusual sounds like hissing, clicking, or popping. If you have a gas water heater and hear hissing, turn off the gas to the hot water heater and call for service immediately. There's likely a leak in the gas line.
Another common noise that homeowners hear is popping coming from the water heater when someone is using the hot water. This usually happens when a person is taking a shower and, after about five minutes, other members of the household hear a pop come from the water heater. This is a good sign that sediment has built up in the tank of the heater. The popping is the sediment heating. Flushing the water heater should take care of this problem. You can flush the water heater yourself or call for professional services.
3. Rusty Water
When you turn on the hot water, is the water rust colored? Does this happen when you turn on the cold water? If it happens regardless of the water's temperature, this is usually a sign that you have hard water. It's not going to affect your health, but it does lead to mineral deposit build-up in your hot water heater.
Now, if only the hot water is this color, then that's a bigger problem. This indicates that there's corrosion inside of the tank. Have this checked out by a licensed plumber. In many cases, this is a sign that you need to replace the water heater. A rusted tank is eventually going to fail and may even form leaks.
4. Leaky Water Heaters
There are two kinds of water heater leaks. There's the kind that comes from the tank itself and the kind that come from the hose or from the valve. If the hose or pressure relief valve is leaking, these parts need replacement. When the tank leaks, that's when you need to start shopping for a new water heater. Holes in water heater tanks cannot be repaired. The only option here is replacement.
If you have questions about your water heater's performance, contact a qualified plumber near you for a complete inspection. It's the only way to know for sure what's exactly going on.