5 Early Warning Signs of a Water Heater Problem
Winter is here! It’s the time of year when you pull out your jackets, crank up the heat, sip on some hot chocolate and snuggle up under heavy blankets. It’s only in these cold months that it becomes apparent how much of a hero your hot water heater really is. You’ll want to recognize the early warning signs that this critical system is beginning to fail, so that you’re not left out in the cold. Keep daily operations around your home or business running without a hitch, and help prevent costly repairs to your heater with these five early warning signs of a water heater problem.
Varying Water Temperatures
It’s easy to ignore fluctuations in water temperature, but it could signal an issue with your water heater that only gets worse with time. We recommend that you give the thermostat a good look. Ensure that it’s set to your desired temperature, then check the water temperature and compare. If there is no hot water at all, check the circuit breaker to see if it’s tripped for some reason. If you can’t see anything wrong externally, your heating coil may be the culprit. In that case, seek the help of a technician.
Just like with any other plumbing system, it is possible for your water heater to spring a leak. You’ll first want to inspect the inlets on top of the unit and ensure that they’re screwed into place snugly. Next, inspect the bottom of the unit—it’s normal to notice some amount of condensation at the bottom. Sometimes the temperature and pressure (TP) relief valve lets out excessive or built-up pressure from the unit, so you may find a little extra water at the bottom. However, a substantial leak means something’s amiss, so you’ll need to call a trusted technician to fix the leak.
Modern water heaters are far more durable and reliable than units produced just five years ago. This means that if you’ve recently purchased a new water heater, you can probably expect over 10 years of quiet, efficient and mostly maintenance-free operation. On the other hand, older machines can hum, pop and clang and may merely produce warm rather than hot water. If this describes your unit, you should consider an upgrade. Not only will your shower be more comfortable, your power bill should improve.
Reduced Water Flow
A reduction in the flow of your water may indicate a buildup of scale in your water heater or along your plumbing. This is not something you want to leave for later— get it checked out before it leaves you without much-needed hot water in the middle of winter. Having a professional descale your water heater and clean the inlet and outlet pipes may resolve the issue. If not, inspect your pipes for a possible clog that may be the cause of your worries.
With regular inspections and maintenance performed by licensed professional technicians, you can do a lot to help preserve the functionality of your hot water heater. Always ensure that you conduct inspections well before winter sets in, as you may find it far more expensive to schedule a visit by an expert in the cold months.
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