Your home’s water heater is an unsung hero, providing hot water for showers, dishes, laundry, and much more. It’s easy to take this appliance for granted until problems arise, leaving you with cold showers and discomfort. Here are seven excellent reasons to call a residential plumbing service when you encounter water heater problems:
1. Lack of Hot Water
One of the most obvious signs that something is amiss with your water heater is a sudden lack of hot water. If you’re accustomed to a consistent supply of hot water and it suddenly runs cold, it’s time to call a professional plumber. There are several potential causes and a professional plumber can diagnose the root cause and provide an effective solution for any of these issues:
- Loss of Power – While this is not a plumbing issue directly, professional plumbers can identify the issue. This may include things such as a tripped circuit breaker, lack of fuel, or a pilot light that needs to be relit.
- A Malfunctioning Heating Element – This is the device responsible for heating the water in your tank. Over time, heating elements can wear out or become coated with sediments that prevent them from working properly.
- A Broken Thermostat – When a thermostat goes bad, it may intermittently heat water, stop heating entirely, or– and this is a major problem– cause the water to overheat and cause dangerous pressure to build up in the tank.
- Sediment Buildup in the Tank – Water naturally contains minerals and other sediments, and a home with older plumbing may have an increase of sediments in the plumbing lines. Additionally, old water heaters may begin to form rust in the tank, causing even more sediments in the tank.
2. Inadequate Hot Water Supply
If your water heater doesn’t produce enough hot water to meet your household’s needs, it can lead to frustration and inconvenience. Inadequate hot water can be caused by factors like an undersized unit for your home, sediment buildup, or a faulty dip tube. A residential plumbing service can assess your hot water needs and recommend the appropriate water heater size or address any issues that might be causing the problem.
If your household requires a great deal of hot water, it may be a good idea to look into installing one or more tankless water heaters. These devices are installed inline, and provide instant hot water for sinks and tubs. Tankless water heaters are more efficient than tanked models, and multiple tankless heaters can be installed in large homes.
3. Strange Noises
Unusual noises coming from your water heater, such as popping, gurgling, or rumbling sounds, are often an indication of sediment buildup in the tank. Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate and harden, causing your water heater to operate less efficiently and noisily. These sounds can be a sign that it’s time for a professional plumber to flush the tank and remove the sediment buildup, restoring your water heater’s efficiency and quiet operation.
4. Leaks and Drips
Any sign of a water heater leak or drip is a reason to call a residential plumbing service immediately. Leaks can be indicative of a variety of issues, from a damaged pressure relief valve to a corroded tank. Ignoring leaks can lead to further damage, flooding, and even the risk of mold growth. A professional plumber can quickly diagnose the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs or recommend a replacement if the unit is beyond repair.
5. Rusty or Discolored Water
If you notice rusty or discolored water coming from your hot water taps, it’s a sign that corrosion is occurring inside the water heater tank. This can be caused by the buildup of sediment and rust, which can compromise the tank’s integrity and lead to leaks. A professional plumber can inspect the tank and advise on whether it’s time for a replacement. Tank corrosion can also have side effects that include reduced water pressure, improper heating, and the failure of heating elements. Prompt action is essential to prevent more severe damage and water quality issues.
6. Fluctuating Water Temperatures
Inconsistent hot water temperatures can be extremely frustrating. You might experience scalding hot water one moment and freezing cold water the next. This issue can be caused by a faulty thermostat, heating element problems, or sediment buildup. A professional plumber can diagnose the problem and restore consistent hot water temperatures, ensuring your safety and comfort.
7. Age of the Water Heater
The lifespan of a typical water heater is around 10-15 years, depending on the type and maintenance. If your water heater is approaching or exceeding this age range, it’s a good idea to consider replacement, even if it’s not currently experiencing any problems. Older units are less energy-efficient and may be more prone to leaks and other issues. Calling a residential plumbing service to discuss replacement options can save you from unexpected disruptions and potential water heater failures in the future. If you are replacing an aging water heater, you should consider switching over to a tankless water heater to enjoy on-demand hot water, and the potential reduction of energy costs.
In addition to these reasons, calling a residential plumbing service for water heater problems is essential because they have the expertise, tools, and experience to handle these complex appliances. Attempting DIY repairs on a water heater can be risky and may void the manufacturer’s warranty. Professional plumbers are trained to diagnose and fix a wide range of water heater issues, ensuring that your appliance operates safely and efficiently. They are also insured, protecting you and your home against problems that arise while the work is in progress
When you encounter water heater problems, it’s crucial to call a residential plumbing service.
Whether you’re dealing with a lack of hot water, inadequate supply, strange noises, leaks, rusty water, fluctuating temperatures, or an aging unit, a professional plumber can provide the necessary expertise to diagnose and address the issue. Timely action will not only ensure your comfort and safety but also prolong the life of your water heater and potentially save you from costly repairs or replacements down the road.
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating provides 24/7 household plumbing services for homes and multifamily buildings. We pride ourselves on our professional and quality work. Contact us through our online contact form or call us at 510-528-4292 for residential plumbing services any time, any day of the week.