Ah, the water heater – the unsung hero of your home comfort, tirelessly working behind the scenes without complaint to keep your showers warm, your clothes clean, and your dishes sparkling.
Until it stops working one morning – then it’s known by the several other names you call it as you storm out of your cold shower.
The truth is, there are usually telltale signs that start to appear before your water heater breaks down completely. Here are a five common ones to keep an eye (and ear) out for:
Diminishing performance. Once your conventional water heater (one with a storage tank) hits the 10-year mark, you’ll probably notice that it doesn’t work as well as it used to (tankless water heaters last much longer since they don’t have to deal with the corrosive effects of water). Keep an close eye on your energy bills to see if they’re going up – and on how long it takes to get water to warm up in the morning.
Signs of hard water. What do ugly stains on your silverware, spots on your glasses, and itchy skin have in common? Well, besides the fact that they’re all annoying, they’re also common signs of hard (mineralized) water. Hard water can cause lime build up, which can reduce efficiency and shorten the life of your water heater.
Rust particles. If you find rusty water in the tank, there’s a pretty good chance your storage tank is corroding on the inside. That could mean a tank failure – and the unplanned indoor pool that comes with it – are on the horizon in the (possibly near) future.
A leak. A leak in a water heater is never a good thing. If you spot one, turn off the tank’s water supply and call us immediately.
Rumbling or sizzling sounds. No, your water heater is not possessed – but it might have a build-up of efficiency-robbing sediment. If you leave that problem unattended, it can cause long-term problems – including water heater breakdown.
If you notice one or more of these signs, it could be time for a water heater upgrade – especially if your equipment has reached its double-digit years. Today’s high efficiency water heaters will heat more water for less money – and do it reliably, day after day.