Is Your Water Heater Failing? Check Out These Warning Signs

A technician working on a water heater

Phoenix residents might not mind a tepid shower on a 100 plus degree day. A crisp shower is a great way to cool down during the summer months. Summer months aside, lacking hot water from a broken water heater is worrisome. Being in hotter than average temperatures year-round masks issues with the water heaters, which can be signs of failed plumbing that need correction. Below are some common signs that your water heater is failing and needs quick attention.

Not enough hot water

Although cool showers feel nice on a hot day, if the water is only staying warm one shower at a time, it might be a sign of a failing water heater. The water heater might be too small for your needs, or there could be something causing the unit not to function adequately. Increase the temperature on your water heater to a few degrees higher. Test the water via a faucet about 30 minutes later to see if it is a malfunction with the temperature gauge. 

Not having enough hot water can also be a circuit breaker issue and might need to be switched back on. If you notice this is a common occurrence, meaning the switch keeps tripping and leaving you without hot water, there could be wiring or electrical issues. Contact a licensed plumbing professional to diagnose the problem and get your hot water back. 

Water leaking from the unit

A dripping water tank requires quick action. If you notice water pooling around the base of your water heater or witness the leak, the unit is not working correctly. If you plan to DIY troubleshoot, first turn off any electrical connections at their primary power source, the circuit breaker, before investigating. If you have a gas heater, turn off the gas flow and let the water heater cool before touching it.

Check screws or connectors and tighten anything that seems like it may have come loose. If you notice more than small amounts of water or condensation, this calls for a more in-depth investigation. It could be pressure-related or an issue with the tank itself. Neglecting a leaky water heater can lead to more significant plumbing problems in the future. 

Low water pressure or flow rate

The cause of low water flow is often built-up scale or sediment in the tank. Doing a water heater flush can help the buildup be on its way. Professional plumbers can also help with water heater descaling to remove the sediment from the tank. 

Weird noises coming from the water tank

Strange noises coming from the water tank should have you on high alert. Pops, cracks, hissing, bangs, gurgles, and anything out of the ordinary is your system’s way of telling you something is wrong. Water heater components break down over time and make unusual sounds doing so. Another reason for a noisy water heater is sediment or scale burning. 

If you hear boiling coming from the unit, contact an emergency plumbing service immediately. Your unit may be overheating.

Water discoloration or stinky odors 

Muddy or discolored water means there is something amiss with the water heater. Bad smells emitting from the water heater are usually a sign of bacteria or rust buildup.  It could just be old and need to be replaced or fixed, but it could depict a more severe water source or plumbing matter.

Keep your water heater working at its best

Water heating units usually give signs before completely breaking down or creating significant plumbing concerns. Paying attention to some common signs and alleviating the issue early on is a great way to protect yourself from expensive repairs or replacements down the road. Cool showers are nice during Arizona summers, but a water heater that doesn’t work when you need it the most; is just a nuisance.

Edwards Plumbing LLC is a licensed and bonded family-owned plumbing team out of Gilbert Arizona, specializing in plumbing emergencies, repairs and renovations. We install and repair plumbing pipes, water heaters, water softeners, sump pumps, sewers, and more. Our competitive rates, honesty, experience serve residential and commercial customers. Call us at (480) 712-2081.