Your home’s water heater probably does not get the credit or care that it deserves. As long as you have hot water when you turn on the faucet or shower, you don’t give this appliance much thought. But after just a few seconds standing in a cold shower, your water heater seems to be all that you can think about. But all of that unpleasantness can be avoided by providing a little TLC and attention to this unsung hero of your home.
Most of the time, when there is an issue with your water heater, it will provide you with some subtle or even obvious clues. And as long as you take notice and action promptly, you can avoid some costly and unpleasant events. Be sure not to overlook the following cried for help from your home’s water heater.
Not Enough Hot Water
Having no hot water is an immediate problem that could be due to a blown fuse or tripped breaker, blown-out pilot light, or a failed component. But when you have some hot water, but not the usual amount, there is also trouble brewing. Less hot water from your water heater could mean that mineral build up in the holding tank. The minerals create a layer of insulation between the water and the heating element, resulting in less available hot water. Unless the tank is flushed to remove the sediment, it can compromise the tank.
Smelly Or Dirty Hot Water
When your hot water is dirty or has an odd smell, the culprit is usually contamination in the holding tank. A bacterial buildup in the tank will cause an odd odor and result in health issues if the water is used for cooking or is consumed. Dirty looking hot water or water with small particulates in it is a different type of contamination. This situation is an indication of sediment in the holding tank. The debris or rust in the water can also indicate that the minerals have begun to degrade the inside of the holding tank.
Flushing the holding tank is the best way to eliminate both of these issues. In the case of bacteria, the tank’s temperature can be temporarily increased after it has been flushed to ensure that all bacteria are killed. A professional plumber can also clean the tank during the flushing process to remove any concern about additional bacteria growth. If the tank is not flushed regularly, the buildup of minerals will undoubtedly shorten the unit’s life.
When you take a look at your water heater because of your lack of hot water, you might notice some odd popping and crackling sounds. If the unit is gas, these sounds are an indication that there is sediment in the holding tank that is impeding the function of the heating element. Flushing the tank should eliminate the sediment, the odd sounds, and your lack of sufficient hot water.
Leaking hot water is a severe issue. If there is a large enough leak that you have noticed a decrease in the amount of hot water you have, you need to call for emergency plumbing service. Examine your water heater and the surrounding pipes for leaks and turn off the unit if a leak is located. The power and water supply must both be turned off to stop the leak and eliminate the potential for a severe electrical shock.
Unless your hot water demands have recently changed, you should not discover that your home’s water heater is no longer providing enough hot water. If that is the case, call (301) 278-8786 to schedule a service call with the pros at A Better Plumber. Our team has decades of experience and expertise in repairing all makes and models of water heaters. And you can trust our pros to provide you with as many cost-effective solutions as possible.