The “should I replace my water heater before it fails” is a question that many homeowners ask themselves when their water heater starts to malfunction. The signs of a failing water heater are not always easy to spot, so it’s important to know what to look for. Keep reading to find out more.
Signs Of A Failing Water Heater
The signs that your water heater is about to fail are varied and not always easy to spot.
Water heaters have a 10-to-15 year life before they need to be replaced. Fortunately, if you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to detect when it’s ready to fail. Four warning signals that your heater is ready to fail are discussed.
Presence Of A Gas Or Sulfur Smell
The most obvious sign, however, is the presence of a gas smell or sulfur in the air coming from your unit. Additionally, if you see plumes of steam emanating from any part of the device itself then it’s time for an inspection by a professional.
Sounds Of Rumbling Or Popping
Strange sounds, such as the sound of popcorn popping, are a sign that your heater is breaking down. Mineral sludge builds at the bottom of the water tank when the hard water warms up, shielding it from the burner.
The popping noises you hear are caused by the mineral deposits becoming very hot and flashing into steam. The heater gets overworked throughout the process of heating the water and sludge. Worse, the slurry might put undue strain on the tank, causing it to split and leak. When this happens, you’ll need to hire an expert to replace your water heater.
Water Surrounding The Heater’s Base
If you spot water nearby, the leakage might be resulting from two places. First, the temperature and pressure (T&P) valve may be releasing excess steam, which then condenses into water and leaves down the pipe. That’s perfectly normal. If the water is excess, be sure to call a professional plumber.
A water leak from the tank into the water heater is the second scenario. If the leak is located at the heater’s base, it means the heater is leaking inside. Hairline fractures in the water heater tank, caused by the expansion and contraction of the tank as it warms and cools, may be the source of the problem.
A professional, highly-trained, and certified plumber would be required to replace the water heater in this situation.
Water That Is Cloudy, Smells Bad Or Tastes Metallic
If you see any of these signs, your water heater is about to fail. They are caused by the accumulation of excessive mineral sludge caused by hard heating water. Your plumber may add anode rods that attract corrosive minerals in the water, lowering the likelihood of eroding the heater liner and causing a bad odor.
Professional Plumbing Services For Businesses & Homes
You can use a plumbing service that handles both business and household repair or construction work. Many plumbers can handle anything from a simple faucet replacement to whole building repiping. A plumber should be able to handle repairing or replacing a broken water heater. Make sure they are certified, insured, drug-tested, and enthusiastic plumbers who provide nothing but the best plumbing services.
The “what happens when a water heater goes bad” is an important question to ask. It is a sign that your water heater may be about to fail. The consequences of not having one are quite severe.
Repairing a water heater and installing a water heater may happen in two seperate environments. Learn more in Service Plumbing Vs. New Construction / Remodel Plumbing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What usually fails on a water heater?
A: The boiling chamber most often fails, and the heating elements are usually replaced by a new unit.
How long should a water heater last?
A: This is a very difficult question to answer, as different types of water heaters will use different methods and have different running costs. However, most residential water heater warranties last around 8-10 years with some lasting 5 years or less.
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