Do you know how much work your home’s water heater does? It takes on much far more work than your furnace or other comfort system, because it must heat water for use in the house almost every day of the year. Heat wave or cold snap, the hot water must flow.
All this work places immense strain on a water heater. Although it contains few moving parts, a water heater will eventually need repair work to keep it running. Ignoring the signs a water heater is malfunctioning may lead to it breaking down and a shortening of its service life.
To help you know when you need to call for water heater repair in Staten Island, NY from our trained plumbers, we’ve compiled a list of the major warnings you have a water heater in need of professional fixes. (Emphasis on professional; amateurs should never attempt to fix a water heater.)
- Leaks: The only place you should see water escaping from a storage tank water heater is the pressure relief valve, which drips to reduce water pressure increases. Water dripping from anywhere else can mean serious problems with the system. Shut off the gas or electricity to the system and call for repairs.
- Rumbling: Don’t panic when you hear the tank rumbling—the water heater isn’t on the verge of exploding. This rumbling can mean sediment is developing along the bottom of the tank, trapping a layer of water above the heating elements that’s causing it to boil and percolate through the sediment. Too much sediment will affect water heater efficiency. The rumbling could also mean a rise in water pressure or a broken dip tube allowing hot and cold water to mix at the top of the tank.
- Discolored hot water: If you turn on the hot water taps and see a reddish discoloration, it could mean sediment in the tank or the tank rusting from the inside. In the latter case, the water heater tank needs to be replaced.
- Corrosion: A water heater has defenses against corroding, but corrosion may eventually catch up with one. If you see corrosion on parts like the heat exchanger, the unit may be able to be salvaged. Too much corrosion, however, requires replacing the tank.
- Drop in hot water volume: When people in your home start going with lukewarm showers in the morning when this was never an issue before, it indicates the water heater is losing its heating power. Have professional plumbers check on this right away.
- Drop in water pressure: If the water from the hot water taps is coming out weaker, there may be a problem with the water heater’s circulator pump. For tankless water heaters, this pressure drop can indicate a build-up of scale blocking the intakes.
The faster you call for water heater repairs services, the easier the problem will be to fix—and the less likely you’ll have a water heater in need of a full replacement, rather than repairs.