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4 Signs Your Water Heater Is Bad

In this article you will find the 4 signs you need to replace your hot water heater. As well as tips to make your water heater last longer.

Look, hot water is a blessing.

Being able to soak in a hot bath. Or take a warm shower at the end of the day, simply can’t be beat!

Unfortunately, hot water heaters don’t last forever!

But, what are the signs your water heater is on the way out? Let’s take a look!

Why Do Water Heaters Go Bad?

Most hot water heaters last 8-10 years. But this can be more, or less, depending on the type of water you have, and how you maintain your heater.

So… Before we dive in to the 4 signs that a water heater will soon need to be replaced…

Let’s take a look at why water heaters go bad in the first place.

This will not only help you understand how a water heater goes bad. But also how to help you get the most out of your water heater!

1. Sediment Build Up

Hot water heaters typically go bad in one of two ways. The first is the build up of sediment.

You may have learned in elementary school that water by itself does not conduct electricity very well. The true conductive element of water is the minerals inside of it.

It is these same minerals which, over time, accumulate in the water tank, and begin to build up in your water heater.

Water Maintenance Tip #1– Drain Your Tank Every 1-3 Years-

To counteract the sediment build-up in your tank. You should empty your water tank every 1-3 years. This will expel much of the sediment which has built up over time.

This is plumbing maintenance you can do yourself, or hire a plumber for.

2. Corrosion of Water Heater Components

Just as some minerals collect in the tank and essentially clog it up. Some minerals in the water lead to premature corrosion.

Water Maintenance Tip #2– Install A Water Filter

If you want to prolong your hot water heater’s life, you may consider installing a whole house water filter. A whole-house filter won’t just prevent damage to your water heater. A filter can keep out corrosive minerals that corrode your pipes and other water fixtures.

Sign #1: Rust in the Water

One of the earliest signs that your water heater needs to be replaced, is rust in the water.

Unless the rust is coming from your well, it is likely a sign of corrosion INSIDE of your hot water heater.

If you are consistently seeing rust in your water. It is a very good sign that you should plan on replacing your hot water heater very soon.

Unlike the picture above. The water will not necessarily be a rust color. But instead the water will have small pieces of rusty metal in it.

Water Maintenance Tip #3– Install A Water Softer

Hard water is rough on all of your pipes and water fixtures. Depending on the contents of your water. A water softener or a water filter will be helpful at keeping your water fixtures in decent shape, including your water heater.

At optimal performance, your best bet may be to contact a local plumber.

Sign #2: Shortage of- or No-Hot Water

One of the most apparent signs your water heater is on its way out is if you notice much less hot water than usual. Or even worse, no hot water at all!

Unless your breaker accidentally got flipped. No hot water at all may be a sure-fire sign that your hot water tank is done, and will have to be replaced.

On the bright side, if your water heater breaker has flipped. This could be a sign of a repairable problem. However, you should not keep flipping the breaker back on. Instead Call a plumber immediately!

Sign #3: Leaking Water

If your hot water heater still seems to be working perfectly, but starts to leak.

Good news! Leaky hot water heaters may be able to be repaired by a professional plumber. This may not mean needing to have the entire water heater replaced.

However it is important that you act fast. The longer the problem persists, the less likely a repair will be.

Quick Check: IF the water heater is leaking from the drain valve and you recently drained it. The faucet may just need to be tightened.

Sign #4: Making Noise

The final sign that your water heater is on the way out the door, and needs to be replaced. Is if it is making noise.

Now water heaters will often make a quite ticking sound. This is normal.

However, there are a few sounds that may be more concerning, such as:

  • Knocking
  • Loud Pops
  • or Gurgling

Your water heater may still operate fine, but unusual sounds could also be a sign that the water heater has an internal problem.

Call Today for Water Heater Replacement

If you are seeing any of the signs of a water heater going bad. Give us a call for a free quote today. Whether you need a plumber in Elizabeth City, NC, or emergency plumbing in Duck, NC. You can count on Dickson Plumbing to get the job done right!

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