It’s safe to say most of us love our hot water. The average American uses between 80-120 gallons of it a day!
Of course, this luxury is easy to take for granted until something goes wrong with your water heater. From temperature issues to leaks to loud noises, a few simple red flags can spell doom for your unit if left unaddressed. Let’s take a look at five signs you should call for emergency water heater repair to protect your home’s hot water.
1. Discolored Water
If the water coming out of your tap looks hazy, clouded, or reddish, you might need repair services. Different mineral buildups can even cause dark particles to flow through your water. Rust inside your tank can also affect the color of your water.
You may also notice a strange mineral scent in the water. Some minerals can also make the water smell like rotten eggs.
These issues may seem minor, but you’ll want to contact an emergency repair expert as soon as possible. Discolored water can sometimes pose a health hazard.
Often, water quality issues happen when your water heater’s anode rod breaks down. This device helps to reduce mineral and rust buildups in the system. A simple replacement is often enough to fix the problem.
Leaks are often one of the most obvious signs that your water heater needs repair. However, some homeowners confuse other common issues with a water heater leak. Don’t panic if you spot pooling or trickling water!
First, do some quick troubleshooting. If you keep your water heater in the same room as other utilities such as a washing machine or HVAC unit, make sure the leaks aren’t coming from those devices instead.
You should also try tightening the fittings on your water heater. If you’re lucky, the leak has happened because a fitting has come loose.
If none of the tips above solve the problem, contact water heater repair services. Leaks can be hard to diagnose and fix on your own, and it’s not always easy to tell when the problem is small enough for a simple repair or catastrophic enough for a complete water heater replacement. Worse, many of the worst water heater problems start with a leak, so you’ll want to fix the issue before it can snowball into something worse.
3. Not Enough Hot Water
If you sometimes notice the water isn’t hot when you hop into the shower, your water heater might need a check-up. This may seem like a minor inconvenience, but sudden temperature fluctuations can be a sign of a major issue. If you’re sure your current unit is the right size for your home and you usually get more water than you’re getting now, there will always be an underlying reason for temperature issues.
You may notice that your water feels lukewarm or cold at times. At other times, it may be hot as you need. Another common red flag is getting only small amounts of hot water at a time.
Sometimes, these temperature fluctuations happen because you’ve got a sediment buildup in your water heater. This buildup can keep your unit from heating water as efficiently.
Issues with your unit’s heating elements may be to blame. If one of these elements breaks, your unit may struggle to heat enough water for your household. You may also be looking at a thermostat issue or a subtle water leak.
4. Weird Noises
Depending on the type of water heater you own, you may be used to small sounds as your unit cycles on and off. These sounds may be part of the normal functioning of the device. Buzzing or low rumbling sounds are common.
However, if you start noticing unfamiliar noises, you’ll want to get a check-up. Keep an ear out for clanging, banging, cracking, or popping sounds.
The most common reason for strange noises is mineral deposits. When these deposits become loose as water flows, they may churn around the inside of your unit. The sound may also be the heating element reacting to the sediment buildup in your unit.
Alternatively, some units may make loud sounds when they’re overheating, as the internal structures may shift or even crack. These issues can be hazardous and complicated, so it’s important to contact an emergency repair technician right away.
If you’re lucky, some simple water heater maintenance and a tank flush will be enough to stop the noises. If you’ve noticed leaks along with noises, you may be due for larger repairs.
5. Visible Deterioration
If you notice any signs of damage or deterioration, get an emergency repair. There are two main things to watch for:
Rust is a constant threat to your water heater. Worse, it’s often a sign that there’s a leak somewhere in your system, whether you can see the leak or not. The resulting corrosion can damage your system and require a total replacement.
If you notice signs of rust, contact an expert right away. Depending on where the corrosion is, your contractor may recommend replacing the part in question. This temporary fix may help preserve your water heater.
Because it cycles through moderate to very high temperatures, the materials of your water heater are always expanding and contracting. Their design takes this into account, but that doesn’t mean your unit will be damage-free forever.
Over time, you may start to notice signs of wear and tear. Cracks and other imperfections can be a sign that your unit is starting to break down. These issues are especially common in older devices whose materials have spent years expanding and contracting.
Always contact an expert if you see signs of damage. If you’re lucky, the issue will be cosmetic. If not, you may have caught a significant issue with your system early.
Get Emergency Water Heater Repair
Sudden water heater issues can be massive red flags, so it’s important to know when to call for emergency water heater repair. Never try to diagnose and treat the issues above on your own!
Homeowners in the St. Petersburg area should contact the trusted experts at Home Team Plumbing, Inc. for help. Our 24-hour services make it easy to get answers and repairs when you need them most. Contact us today for help.