Is Your Water Heater Past Its Prime?

January 9, 2023 | Homeowner Tips, Plumbing

Understanding Your Water Heater

Many different factors can contribute to a water heater failing. Common issues can include a corroded tank or faulty heating elements. In some cases, parts can just be replaced. In others, a whole new unit will need to be installed. Typically, water heaters last anywhere from 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced.

Below, you’ll see some common symptoms that may indicate your water heater may need to be replaced.

Shortened Shower Time

Running out of water quickly is a common sign that it may be time for a new water heater. Over time, sediment builds up in the water heater, meaning less room for the hot water. Having hard water also can contribute to this problem. Regular flushing of your water heater can help combat this problem, but if it has gone on too long, it may need to be replaced. If you experience this, a tankless water heater may be for you! Check out our article here where we outline what a tankless water heater is and if it might be right for you! Along the same lines, if you experience inconsistent water temperatures, it could mean a couple things. It may just be a problem with the thermostat, or it could be an issue with the heating element.

From Mattex Heating, Cooling, Sewer, Plumbing, And Electrical Services In Il

Brown or Rusty Water

Have you noticed that your water is discolored or has a funky taste or smell? This could be due to corrosion of your water heater. The tank of a water heater has a coating that slows down corrosion, however it doesn’t last forever. Once it starts to wear, rust forms and gets into the water supply.

Strange Sounds

Are you hearing weird noises coming from your water heater? This doesn’t always mean you have issues, but it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a Mattex technician. These noises could mean your heating element is going bad, or could just mean a loose connection. Either way, we can help solve the problem!

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is another sign of possible sediment buildup in the water heater. Again, hard water can be a common cause of this buildup in the connections. Regular servicing of your water heater is vital, especially if you know you deal with hard water.

From Mattex Heating, Cooling, Sewer, Plumbing, And Electrical Services In Il

External Signs

It’s always a good idea to periodically check your water heater for external corrosion, or water around the base. If you notice water dripping from any pipes or connections, this could just be a sign that these need tightening, which isn’t a huge deal. Water pooling underneath the unit, however, may be a bigger issue. If you do notice a leak, it is important to turn off the power to the water heater and shut off the water supply to the heater as well. If you have a gas unit, there should be an on/off dial towards the bottom of the unit. Switch to the “off” position. If your water heater is electric, go to your breaker box and flip the breaker that supplies your water heater with electricity. Your next step should be to turn off the water supply to the tank. At the top of the water heater, there should be a dial on the inlet pipe. Turn this dial clockwise, or to the “closed” position. Then be sure to give us a call!

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