Water heaters are an important convenience that many people take for granted. Taking a shower or bath with warm or hot water is a must for most people, so it’s not a good day when you step into a lukewarm or cold shower, especially when you don’t expect it. But is a failing water heater really unexpected? There are some signs to observe that give you a heads up on a cold shower that is lingering. The key is to do something about it before you are stuck shivering.

So what are the signs that your water heater is on its way out?

The most common signs are lack of hot water, leaks, low pressure, and water that looks or smells contaminated.

The average life of a water heater is 10 to 15 years, but it’s always wise to monitor your water for any changes. Oftentimes, catching an issue with your water heater early on can prevent expensive damages down the road.

How Do I Know My Water Heater is About to Fail?

Heater is Struggling to Deliver Hot Water

One of the most obvious signs your water heater needs to be examined by a professional is that you have trouble getting hot water. All water contains small amounts of sediment and minerals. Over time, these particles accumulate at the bottom of the water tank and make it harder for the heating element to adequately heat the water in the tank.

As a result, you may notice the water from your home’s showers and faucets takes longer to heat up or doesn’t get as hot as it used to. The good news is that issues getting hot water don’t always mean the heater is on the verge of failure. The problem can be partially alleviated by having a plumber flush the heater regularly to get rid of mineral buildup.

Water is Leaking

Another important sign to look for is water leaking from the storage tank or pipes. Water pooling or leaking around the heater might be caused by a loose valve or improper pipe connection, problems which are cheap and easy to fix. However, if you have checked all the connections and still see puddles or water dripping from the tank, it might be the heater tank itself that is leaking. This means it’s time to replace your water heater, since cracks in the water tank can’t be repaired.

Water Looks or Smells Different

When you turn on your tap or shower, the water should run clear. You might notice water is discolored. Water might also smell or taste metallic. If any of these happen, it’s a sign that there are minerals, contaminants or rust inside the tank. Water heaters have special coatings and anode rods to pull corrosive material out of the water, but eventually these protections fail and the tank becomes overwhelmed. If you notice your hot water is becoming discolored or contaminated it’s time to replace the tank.

Water Pressure is Dropping

If your home’s water pressure drops, it is usually because the pipes or valves are clogged and can no longer carry the same amount of water. Specifically, the temperature and pressure relief valve attached to the water heater is critical for regulating the water heater. Since all hot water passes through this connection, if it becomes clogged with sediment or rust the hot water pressure will drop. If your hot water pressure drops, the valve may need to be cleaned or replaced.

What Happens When my Water Heater Completely Breaks?

Water heaters can fail in a few different ways. Often, a leak or crack in the tank will gradually grow worse and then fail completely, causing flooding and related damage. If the temperature and pressure relief valve fails, the water in the tank might pass boiling point and eventually explode.

All these outcomes show that it’s time to call an appliance repair service to either fix or replace your unit. However, you can save yourself immense time and money by calling a home appliance repair specialist to schedule a service at the first sign of trouble. This way you will avoid catastrophic damage.

Affordable Appliance Repair Services of West Michigan is your best choice for home appliance repair services. Our trained technicians have the knowledge and experience to service and repair an array of home appliances including washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens and more. Being stuck with cold water, or a water leak is never good so keep your water heater in check by keeping these warning signs in mind.

Call us for service that is prompt, courteous, and dedicated to providing quality appliance repair that you can depend on!