Paul's Plumbing Tips

No Cold Showers For You! Here Are The 3 Water Heater Problem Signs You Need to Know

Whilst you probably never give too much thought to your hot water system, it will suddenly be all you can think about if it fails. Imagine having no hot showers, no hot baths, and no hot tap water -- makes you shudder, doesn't it? Fortunately, you can prevent such a disaster by being aware of the signs of water heater problems. Read on to find out the top three signs to watch out for. 

The Water Isn't Quite As Hot

If you've noticed that your showers seem to be lukewarm rather than hot lately, or that the hot water lasts only a fraction as long as it once did, there's a good chance that your water heater is starting to fail. Every time that water is warmed up for your use, minerals sink at the bottom of the tank. Over the years, these mineral deposits accumulate until they interfere with proper water heating. Your water heater has to work harder and harder just to get a diminishing amount of hot water. Eventually, the fact that the tank is heating for such prolonged periods will lead to failure -- and a new water heater. 

Top Tip: if you have your water heater flushed by a professional once a year, you may be able to avoid this.

You Hear "Bang, Bang, Bang"

If you hear a persistent banging or clanking noise in the home, it could be coming from your water heater. Often, this occurs along with diminishing hot water supply. The over-taxed water tank can start to make noise as the metal grows fatigued. The more noise that the water heater makes, the closer it may be to the end of its life. 

Top Tip: if you have the yearly water tank flushes mentioned above, it may help prevent this issue whilst your water heater is still fairly new (or at least whilst it's not a decade old.)

There's An Odour Coming From the Hot Water

If you smell an odour whilst in the shower or the bath -- or maybe even whilst just washing your hands -- the odds are high that you have a problem with your water heater. The odour is often likened to a rotten egg, although it may be metallic. This is often the result of bacteria inside the water heater, or it can be due to a corroded rod. This needs to be addressed by a professional straight away before the problem worsens or even causes eventual failure.

Top Tip: extra water heater maintenance, including regular full tank draining and water replacement, may be needed in the future to prevent this from happening again. 

If you've noticed any of the three water heater trouble signs above, contact your hot water systems professional straight away. Don't take a chance on cold showers!