The Signs of Water Heater Failure
The majority of homeowners aren’t aware of the signs that a water heater failure is imminent. Most often, they will discover it after the fact, when there is no hot water, or when they find water on the floor. An alert and informed homeowner can be aware of the signs that can occur before the water heater fails. The average life span of a conventional tank-style water heater is ten to fifteen years. Being alert to issues with the water heater, and providing timely water heater repair in Houston can help to extend its service life.
Due to the increased risk of failure, and the fact that the purchase of a new water heater enables you to select a more energy-efficient model, it is generally recommended to replace the water heater every ten years. The majority of homeowners will wait to replace an aged water heater until failure occurs, unfortunately, this may mean damage can or already has occurred to your home’s structure.
Being alert to the signs of water heater problems requiring water heater repair in Houston may enable you to achieve more time out of a water heater, replacing it when the signs of its demise give you advanced warning. Those signs are as follows:
Rusty water may be a sign that your water heater is rusting from the inside, and that leaks may soon occur. However, this is not a definite sign. The home with galvanized piping will eventually experience rusty water due to the piping rusting away. Sacrificial rods within the water heater may be in need of replacement, and is a need for water heater repair in Houston, and not necessarily a sign of the need for a new water heater. Water heaters with a glass liner shouldn’t rust unless the lining has been broken. Nevertheless, rusty water is a heads up that something isn’t right. Rust on the outside of the water heater can also indicate leaks are imminent.
Rumbling and Noise
Water supplies containing minerals are considered to be hard water. Homes with hard water lacking a water softener will eventually experience plumbing issues related to hard water that will require water heater repair in Houston. The water heater is no exception. Sediment will build up at the bottom of the tank and harden. This can lead to the early demise of the water heater if the tank is not routinely flushed to remove the sediment build-up.
As sediment hardens and builds-up it makes the water heater’s ability to heat water harder, as well as causing it to use more energy. The processes involved in build-up can result in a noisy water heater, including a rumbling noise.
Insufficient Hot Water
If you notice that water is not as hot as usual, or doesn’t last as long as it once did, you will need water heater repair in Houston, if not replacement of the water heater.
Water Around the Water Heater
If you see water surrounding the water heater a leak may be present. Inspect the water heater for evidence of the source of the leak, it may have a leaky fitting or pipe for example. Dampness, stains, mold or mildew can indicate the presence of a leak. A leak may require water heater repair in Houston, or it may indicate complete failure requiring replacement of the water heater.
Routine Water Heater Maintenance
Providing annual or bi-annual draining of the tank, and prompt water heater repair in Houston will extend the service life of your water heater and will reduce the risk of leaks and functional failure.
Draining the Hot Water Heater
- Assemble an oven-hot mitt, a thick towel, and a garden hose.
- Turn off gas or electricity to the water heater.
- Turn off the water supply to the hot water heater. If the shut-off valve located at the water heater will not shut the water off, you will have to shut off all water entering the home at the water meter.
- Hot water may be scalding requiring caution. You have the option of waiting for hot water to cool down before going any further.
- Connect the garden hose to the water heater tank drain. Place the other end outdoors; ensure it will not drain on people, pets, electrical plugs or appliances or landscaping. If you are unable to drain the tank outdoors use a large bucket and empty it frequently. Place a thick towel beneath the drain to catch any leakage.
- Turn on a nearby hot water outlet to let air into the plumbing system, allowing the water to drain from the water heater.
- Open the water heater tank drain.
- Let the tank drain until you no longer see any sign of sediment draining on the ground.
- Remove the garden hose, holding it up carefully to prevent any hot water from flowing back on you.
- Close the water heater tank drain. Use the oven mitt as it may be hot.
- Turn the water supply back on to the tank.
- Ensure there are no leaks at the water heater tank drain. If there are tighten it. If it continues to leak it will require water heater repair in Houston before going any further. The water will require being cut off until repaired. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
- Turn the gas or electrical power back on to the water heater.
- Once a full flush is provided, drain 2 quarts every 2-3 months to keep sediment from building up in the tank.
If you note any of the previous signs of impending hot water heater failure or are unable to provide maintenance yourself, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg will provide hot water heater service, maintenance, replacement or hot water heater repair in Houston with the expertise and quality service we are known for.