When Your Water Heater Fails, It’s a Big Problem

A hot water heater tends to work for quite a while, often a number of years, without giving you any trouble. Thus it’s easy to forget that like all manmade machines, they’re experiencing wear and tear and are going to develop problems eventually.

When they finally do break down, it’s a major inconvenience in your Westfield, IN home. Suddenly no one can take a hot shower. There’s also no hot water available to wash the laundry or do the dishes.

Signs your water heater is failing in Westfield, IN

The way to avoid that unpleasant day (and possibly a considerable amount of complaining from your family) is to figure out that the water heater is failing before it entirely does. Then you can arrange for hot water heater repair or, if necessary, water heater replacement at a time of your choosing and prevent disruption of your household routine.

Checking every season should be frequent enough for you to spot a problem looming on the horizon. To help with your inspection, here are five signs your water heater is developing issues.

Sign #1: The Water’s Not as Hot as It Used to Be

Since the whole point of the water heater is to produce hot water, this point might seem so obvious that it’s not worth mentioning. But if you notice the water isn’t as hot as it once was, but it still seems hot enough for your purposes, you might be tempted to ignore the issue. You shouldn’t do that, though. This is probably the most significant single sign that the water heater’s in the process of breaking down.

Sign #2: You’re Seeing Dirty Water

If the water coming out of the hot water heater is metallic, rusty, or has crud like debris or sand in it, that too is a sign of impending failure.

Sign #3: You’re Seeing Leaking

If there’s water leaking out of the water heater, that’s another obvious trouble sign. Unfortunately, it’s one that often means hot water heater repair isn’t going to do the trick. It’s likely time for water heater replacement.

Sign #4: You’re Hearing Noise

Are there pops or cracking sounds coming out of the water heater? If there are, it likely means that there’s hardened sediment in the bottom of the tank. The sediment makes the water heater work harder than it would otherwise need to. There’s increased wear and tear, and if the tank goes undrained, eventually the water heater will fail.

Sign #5: The Heater’s Old

With luck, you can put your hands on the paperwork that tells you when you bought the water heater. If not, you can find out by using the serial number.

It’s important to keep track of how old the water heater is because as a rule, they last 8 to 12 years. So if yours has reached that age, it’s reasonable to suspect it’s going to fail even if it seems to be working fine so far.

Repair vs. Replacement

Once you do have reason to believe that the water heater in your Westfield, IN home is developing problems, the question becomes whether to repair or replace it. Naturally, your plumbing professional will advise you on this, but you may also find it helpful to have some general understanding of the parameters.

As noted above, if the problem is hardened sediment, you can sometimes avoid the water heater failing by having it drained. It’s actually a good idea to have it serviced yearly to keep a troublesome quantity of sediment from accumulating in the first place.

On the other hand, if you see the water heater leaking or it’s just reached the end of its expected lifespan, there’s a good chance water heater replacement is in order.

If it is, there are many high-quality brands and types to choose from. The five main types are conventional, tankless, solar, heat pump, and condensing. Each has its advantages and drawbacks in terms of cost, maintenance requirements, energy efficiency, etc.

Whatever type you choose, be sure that it can supply a quantity of hot water sufficient to your needs. A family of five, for example, all showering in the morning, are likely to need more hot water more quickly than a husband and wife whose children have grown up and left the nest.

Selecting a replacement water heater is another area where your plumbing professional can advise you and then attend to water heater installation. If you need assistance with anything to do with your hot water heater (or any plumbing issue), we invite you to contact us at 24-7 Plumbing. We’re eager to be of service.