When it comes to underappreciated appliances, water heaters are near the top of the list. Even though we rely on them daily, even hourly, we often don’t give a whole lot of thought to them—until something goes wrong, that is.
Tank water heaters—still the preferred choice for a number of homeowners—do their jobs quietly, and unfortunately, this means that problems can creep in unnoticed. If your system is more than 10-15 years old, these problems can lead to a full system breakdown, which means you may have to replace it unexpectedly. Fortunately, our team does provide water heater installations in Tumwater, WA and beyond. But we’d like to help you avoid an emergency replacement, if at all possible!
How Can Emergencies Be Prevented?
Not all water heater issues can be completely avoided, but preventive maintenance can certainly help the situation. A qualified plumber—such as any of the members of our team—should check your water heater once a year; tightening loose bolts or fittings, flushing out the tank, cleaning burners, and replacing the anode rod—the component that absorbs rust so the inside of your tank doesn’t.
This extends the life of your water heater, and allows our plumbers to check for indications of more serious trouble coming down the road. This in turn gives you the opportunity to plan for repairs at your convenience, before the damage becomes catastrophic and you find yourself with no hot water at all.
Know the Signs
Of course just like any other appliance, no matter how well your water heater is cared for, sooner or later it’s going to need replacement. Typically, any signs that your tank water heater isn’t working as it should warrants a call to a professional plumber. Here are some signs to look for:
- Rust Colored Water: As we mentioned above, there is an anode rod in place within your tank water heater. But if you see rust colored water coming from your hot water taps, then the anode rod has likely rusted through and the sides of the tank have instead begun to rust. There is no repairing this, so replacement may be imminent.
- Lack of Hot Water: On its own, this may be a case of a faulty heating element. But when coupled with old age, this could certainly be an indication that it is time for a new water heater.
- Hot Water Running Out Quickly: One of the disadvantages of having a tank water heater versus a tankless model is that if there’s a lot of demand on it, you can run out of water. However, if you’re just taking your morning shower and 10 minutes in your water cools off, this is a sign of a problem that needs investigating.
- Odd Noises: This might include gurgling or dripping noises coming from the water heater itself.
- Puddles Forming Around the Base: Even though you may not be able to find the source—breaches in a tank water heater sometimes close up when the water cools off—this is a definite sign of a leak. This is a dangerous problem to have and may very well warrant a replacement system.
- Increased Water Bills: If you notice your water bills spike with no reasonable explanation, particularly if you haven’t used the water in your home any more than normal, then you may have a leak in your water heater tank. Keep in mind this can also be a sign of a leak elsewhere in your plumbing system, as most of it is hidden behind walls and beneath floors. You can trust in our professional leak detection services to determine where your leak is coming from!
Contact Brooks Plumbing Co. today for all your residential plumbing needs.