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5 Signs You May Have a Failing Water Heater

5 Signs You May Have a Failing Water Heater

A water heater is an essential component of your plumbing that needs your occasional attention. When your unit or any part of it fails to function correctly, it could put a complete stop to your day. You might even say it’s a vital part in keeping you from falling back into the Dark Ages without modern conveniences and amenities, such as hot water.

If your water heater started to malfunction, would you know the signs? It’s important to recognize the early signs that this critical system is beginning to fail. The earlier you catch issues, the less likely you will be left out in the cold with costly repairs.

Here are five signs you may need to have your water heater repaired or replaced.

1. Age

Do you know the age of your water heater? Unless you had your home built (or you’re a savant with dates), most people are unaware of their water heater’s age. It’s vital that you know your water heater’s age because it could tell you if it’s time to start looking for a replacement or invest in some much-needed maintenance. If you’re unsure of your water heater’s age, you can easily find it by looking at the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker, which is usually located on the upper portion of the water heater.

While the serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured, keep in mind that it won’t look like a typical date. In its place, the serial number will have a date code similar to “G062073529.” Focus on the first letter and the following two numbers to decode your unit’s date. The letter G is the seventh letter in the alphabet, and the seventh month of the year is July. The number 06 stands for the year 2006. This particular water heater was manufactured in July 2006. Keep in mind, most water heaters’ have a life expectancy of roughly 10 years. If your unit is closing in on a decade of use, it might be time to consider a replacement.

2. Water Temperatures Vary

Hopefully, you’ve never had to experience a variation in water temperature where the water is too hot one second, then too cold, and rarely ever just right. Ignoring fluctuations in water temperature is easy, but not the safest option, as this sign could indicate a more severe issue with your water heater.

3. Leaks Detected

From washing your clothes to taking a nice, hot shower, your water heater is a close companion in your everyday life. When it malfunctions, your day may be completely altered. Water heater leaks are surefire signs that there’s a serious internal failure, so you either need your water heater repaired or replaced immediately. Any dripping or pooling water around the bottom of the tank needs to be addressed by a professional plumber.

Safety is of the utmost importance, so any leaks near or around your water heater could become a hazard if occurring near electrical outlets. This is why troubleshooting should be done by one of our trained plumbers from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Greater Minneapolis. Before we arrive, we advise disconnecting the electricity or turning off the gas to the unit and letting it cool down. From there, please leave it to us to inspect the water heater to determine the source of any leaks.

4. Strange Sounds

Loud cracks, pops, whining, bangs, gurgles, and/or boiling sounds inside your water heater are definitely not signs of a healthy unit. Changes related to water flow rate or pressure may indicate a buildup of sediment in your water heater or within the plumbing that connects the unit to your home. Any knocking sounds inside your water heater should not be ignored, as the buildup will get worse and potentially leave you without hot water. Remember, in situations where water heater issues are occurring internally, it’s always best to consult with a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing professional to avoid any other problems.

5. Smelly or Discolored Water

Discolored or smelly hot water is another sign of a failing water heater. Not only is it an unpleasant sign of a malfunctioning unit, but it’s also a health hazard for you and your family. When mineral deposits buildup inside your water tank, they travel out of the water heater and create cloudy, hot water that’s often accompanied by a metallic odor and taste (although, we don’t recommend sampling this water as confirmation). Additionally, when you turn on your taps, the deposits travel to your faucets and clog the aerators’ screens, slowing down the flow of water in the process. This can affect water pressure.

Regular Water Heater Maintenance Is Essential

As plumbing pros, we believe it’s vital for you—as a property owner—to know the signs of a failing water heater and then call us for help. However, a way to avoid experiencing repeat issues is to have a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing technician perform regular water heater maintenance.

Our water heater maintenance service includes:

  • Routine flushes
  • Multi-point inspections
  • Part replacements
  • Discounts on services and products

Benefits of Using Our Water Heater Services

A failing water heater could produce too much hot water, not enough hot water, or no hot water at all. In any of these cases, it’s probably time for a water heater repair or replacement. Fortunately, you can rely on the quality-backed workmanship of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Greater Minneapolis.

Our plumbing company offers:

We pride ourselves on being your local, punctual plumber when you need cost-saving plumbing services for anything from drain cleaning to leak detection to garbage disposal installation. We take our “punctual” moniker so seriously that if there’s a delay, we will pay you $5.00 for every minute we are late (up to $300). It’s safe to say that our team is unmatched when making you and your time a priority.

When you need a plumber you can trust, our team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Greater Minneapolis is ready day or night. Call us at (612) 430-6547 or request an appointment online today.