Homeowners are responsible for a wide variety of home upkeep and maintenance tasks, one of which is checking on the functionality of all your home’s appliances. One of the most important appliances within a home is the water heater; it keeps your baths and showers hot, cleans your laundry efficiently, and properly cleans and sanitizes your dishes, among others.
When a water heater breaks, it interrupts multiple daily household processes, causing every family member’s stress and delays in their necessary cleaning and personal hygiene activities. If you think your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced, here are a few ways to know for sure:
Irregular or inconsistent water temperature. Are you noticing that your water doesn’t come out as hot as it usually does from your faucet or shower? Are your showers continuously getting shorter as your hot water lasts for less and less time? This is one of the primary signs that your water heater is malfunctioning. A complete lack of hot water is a clear indicator that your water isn’t being heated, but the inconsistency with water temperature can be just as telling when it comes to the health of your water heater. If the water temperature in your home is inconsistent, it could mean that mineral deposits have developed around the heating elements within your water heater, or that the heater needs a part repaired.
Water discoloration. When water is exiting faucets, hoses, or showerheads at especially high speed and pressure, the water will sometimes appear hazy at first. However, if the water coming from your faucets is anything but completely clear, your water heater could be the culprit, especially if you notice brownish water or what appears to be particles of dust in your water. If your water heater is on the older side, it could be undergoing sedimentation, which releases flecks of dirt and rust into the water supply. If you notice discoloration in your water, it’s extremely important to contact a plumbing specialist immediately as it could pose a serious health risk to you and your family.
Leaking water heater unit. Find your water heater and check the floor underneath. If you notice water pooling beneath the tank, some form of damage or erosion has caused your water heater to spring a leak. A leaking water heater can be very dangerous for a few reasons. A leak has most likely been caused by corrosion, but the leak itself will lead to more corrosion and tainting of your water supply. Additionally, if any electrical appliances are located near your water heater, a leak could cause any exposed electrical parts to a short circuit.
Strange noises coming from the water heater. Pay attention to the sounds coming from your water heater. If you notice a low buzz that slowly develops into a rumbling or an intermittent banging, cracking, or popping sounds, your water heater may have a broken part. Call a plumbing specialist as soon as possible to properly diagnose the problem.
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