You most likely use your water heater every single day, and that means you need to keep an eye out for any signs that it might need to be replaced. Catching those early warning signs could help you avoid a wide variety of problems including expensive damage to your property. Here is a look at a few water heater issues that must never be ignored.
A well-maintained water heater shouldn’t make any unusual noises when you are using hot water. If you have recently noticed any popping or banging noises, then there is probably a layer of sediment in the tank that needs to be cleaned out. Those noises should go away after you clean the tank, but there may come a point when your water heater makes unusual noises no matter what you do. Ongoing noises are a clear sign that it is time to invest in a new water heater. Make sure to check your water heater regularly and evaluate all sounds coming from it, you definitely do not want it to break down suddenly.
Lukewarm water is another common water heater issue that you can’t afford to ignore. When a layer of sediment at the bottom of a water heater solidifies, the burner won’t be able to heat the water. At that point, you will most likely need to install a new water heater. Getting rid of that sediment might be possible, but it could end up costing you hundreds of dollars. Most of the time, you should just get a new water heater, as there is not really any way to get the sediment out of the bottom of the water heater tank.
Odors in your household water can be caused by a wide variety of issues, but the water heater is usually to blame. As a water heater ages, germs will cling to the walls of the tank, which can create unpleasant odors. You might also notice that your tap water has a metallic taste or smell if your water heater is more than 10 or 15 years old. Getting a new water heater is the best option at this point, as it has outlived its lifespan if it is that old. 10-15 years is a good amount of time for a water heater.
Puddles or Moisture around the Tank
A leaking water heater can cause a tremendous amount of damage in a short period of time. After a few months, a pinhole leak could easily turn into a large opening that floods your garage or basement with water. At the very least, you need to have a plumber inspect your water heater for any signs of damage. The leak might be coming from a nearby spigot or pipe instead of the water heater.
In addition to these few signs, you should also consider the age of your water heater. Most modern water heaters need to be replaced after 10 years, but yours might last for 12 years or longer with the proper maintenance.