Water heaters make showers comfortable and provide a household with hot water to clean dishes and wash laundry. But like all appliances, a water heater does not last forever. If you know the signs of a water heater that is on its last legs, you will be able to replace it before it fails completely. Some of the signs that your home needs a new water heater include:
Lack of Hot Water
After living in a home for a while, homeowners typically know how hot their water normally is and how much hot water their water heater can provide. But as a water heater ages and the heating element begins to wear out, the hot water heater will not be able to keep the water heated to the set temperature. This means that the water coming out of a shower head or faucet may only be warm instead of hot, and the warm water will run out much more quickly.
No one wants to turn on their hot water to find muddy, rust-colored water flowing out. This often happens when the interior of the water heater tank has rusted; a rusty hot water heater will eventually start flaking, and the introduction of rust to the hot water will cause the water to change color.
Metallic Smell or Taste
When a hot water heater is working properly, the hot water should not have a smell or distinct taste. But a failing hot water heater that has a build up of rust, minerals, and other sediments can change the smell and taste of the hot water. If your hot water has a metallic taste or smell, it is usually a sign that it is time to start shopping for a new water heater.
As a homeowner, it is a good idea to periodically stand next to your water heater and listen to it as it is heating water. A water heater without any problems should be very quiet. But a water heater that is nearing the end of its lifespan may make loud popping or cracking sounds. In most cases, these sounds indicate that the heating element is heating up minerals that have built up on it.
A leaking water heater is a sign of a major problem. When your water heater begins to leak, whether it is a slow drip or a major flooding event, it is often because the water tank has cracked. Once the water heater tank fails it can't be repaired and you will need to replace the whole unit.
Contact a company like Quality Plumbing for more information and assistance.