Signs of Water Heater Failure

Hot water is something we take for granted until we no longer have it. Running out of hot water can mean no clean clothes, dirty dishes, and, the worst of all, a cold shower. There is just no convenient time for your hot water heater to fail. In fact, winter in Post Falls, Idaho and the holiday season just might be the absolute worst times for your water heater failure.

The good news is, your water heater usually presents signs that something is wrong before it fails completely. The most obvious sign that your hot water heater has failed is the sudden loss of hot water. Before you find yourself stranded in a cold shower, check for these signs that your hot water heater is about to fail. Calling in a professional before your water heater fails completely could save you from expensive repairs, needing to replace it, or severe water damage to your home.

  1. Age

If your hot water heater is more than 10 years old and is needing frequent repairs, then it might be about to fail for good. If you don’t know the age of your water heater, you can find it in the serial number. The serial number will have a date code such as “H072063527”. H represents the month. Since H is the 8th letter in the alphabet, it corresponds to the 8th month, August. Next, the first two digits of the serial number represent the year. So this water heater was made in August 2007. Manufacturer’s date codes can vary so check the manufacturer’s website for specifics for your water heater.

  1. Frequent or severe leaks.

If you notice water or moisture around your water heater then you may have a small leak or fracture in the tank. A water heater leak can cause severe damage to your home and leave you without hot water for long periods of time. Call a plumber to check where the leak is coming from before you decide to replace it. The experts at Mainstream will work to find the most cost-efficient solution for your water heater and help you decide whether it is best to replace or repair it.

  1. Rust in your water.

Rust in your water can be the result of rust in your water heater piping. If you only notice rust in your water when the hot water is on, then it is a good indication the rust is coming from your water heater. To determine where the rust is coming from, drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. If rusty water continues to flow from your hot water heater after the second bucket, then it is most likely the water heater and not the piping.

  1. Rumbling, banging, or popping noise.

This noise is the sound of sediment build up heating in your water heater. As your hot water heater ages, sediment builds up on the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated, it boils and then hardens. Over time, the water heater has to work harder and harder to heat the sediment and then the water, leading to inefficiency, overworking and, eventually, failure.

Corrosion is usually due to what is called a “slow leak”. This means that water is slowly leaking through sealed pipe fittings. This can usually be repaired if caught in time. However, if the problem is not addressed as soon as possible then hot water heater failure is imminent.

  1. Loud blower motor.

A loud blower motor means the blower bearings are about to fail. Unfortunately, when the blower motor dies, the hot water heater will no longer work either. This is a failsafe mechanism that prevents the water heater from operating if the blower isn’t working.

This will be a loud rattling or clinking on metal sound. If you hear any of these warning signs, have your blower repaired before it has the opportunity to fail.

  1. Inconsistent water temperature.

If you use your hot water on a regular basis and notice that you are getting splashes of cold water, or your water is not getting above lukewarm, it is a sign that a breakdown is in progress. If the problem persist, call Mainstream for a diagnosis before failure occurs.

These warning signs do not always mean that you will need to completely replace your hot water heater. At Mainstream, our experts can thoroughly diagnose the problem and educate you on all of your options to help you make the best decision. The most important thing you can do to save your home from being without hot water and to save money is to call us as soon as one of these signs come about.

This time of year, hot water is a necessity in your Post Falls home. If you notice any of these signs, call Mainstream as soon as possible. Our experts will help you come up with a solution to fit both your needs and budget. Call (866) 978-9297 to schedule an appointment today!