Water heaters are an essential part of modern life: providing safe, reliable source of hot water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Most homes in the area use traditional tank water heaters: those tall cylinders full of water, heated from burners below and ready to distribute to the various faucets and outlets of the home.
Water heaters do their jobs quietly and without fuss, and most of the time they’re kept in out-of-the-way parts of the home like the basement or garage. They’re effective and cost-efficient, which means most of us trust them to work while while we focus on more pressing matters. Unfortunately, that also means problems with them can develop just as quietly, and most homeowners are unaware of trouble with their water heater until the damage has become quite extensive.
Start with Maintenance
One of the best ways to prevent this is to schedule routine maintenance on your water heater once or twice a year with a trained professional. They can check for any problems, flush out the tank, change the anode rod and perform other duties that keep your water heater running in tip-top shape.
Beyond that, you can learn to look for the signs that something is wrong with your water heater. If you spot them, you can shut it down and call for repairs swiftly. Time is of the essence in most cases of trouble with a water heater, so the more you can do the better.
Signs of Trouble
Some of the more common signs of water heater trouble include the following:
- Insufficiently Hot Water. A problem with the burners, sediment in the tank, or similar issues will lower the heat levels of your water. That can affect everything from showers to laundry to washing dishes in the dishwasher.
- Hot Water That “Runs Out.” Similarly, nothing can be more frustrating than taking a shower or doing the dishes and have the hot water suddenly turn lukewarm or cold earlier than it should.
- Rust-Colored or Brown-Colored Water. Rust in the tank can lead to reddish or brownish water coming out of your taps, especially when you turn the hot water on.
- Strange Noises. Sediment in the bottom of the tank can cause water to gurgle or bubble when it moves though the layer. Malfunctioning components can give out ticking or buzzing noises. Any sound that doesn’t match your water heater’s basic functioning should be grounds for concern.
- Not every leak in a water heater can be readily spotted. Indeed, small leaks in the tank can often re-seal when the water cools, leaving no sign they exist. Puddles around the base of the water heater are often a sign of significant trouble.
- Higher Bills. An unexpected spike in your water or heating bill could spell trouble from the water heater itself. A qualified plumber can usually get to the bottom of it.
If you detect signs of trouble from the water heater in your Sacramento, CA home, turn it off and call the friendly pros at Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. to get it fixed!