The water heater in your home has a massive responsibility to you and your loved ones. It is the only device that can deliver the hot water needed for bathing and cleaning. But as long as that hot water begins flowing when you turn on the shower or faucet, you give little thought or show little appreciation to this unsung hero of your home.
In many cases, homeowners are caught entirely off guard on that troubling day when they climb into the shower only to discover that they have no hot water. But after a short conversation with a licensed plumber, they understand that they were ignoring or overlooking the hints from their water heater that it was nearing the end of its life. The following signs will help you know when to call in a licensed plumber to avoid that shockingly cold shower.
Rust is never a good sign. It is always an indication of the deterioration of some metal. And in this case, the rust is telling you that the microscopic glass lining inside your home’s water heater tank is damaged or destroyed. And once it happens, the water begins to contact the metal holding tank and create rust.
The longer you ignore the specks of rust in your hot water, the more concentrated they will become. And soon, you will find that water is seeping through the damaged portion of your water heater holding tank. So now there is potential for a flood at your water heater, someone getting shocked if the water drips on any electrical connections, and nasty rust contaminating the hot water you use for cooking.
Water Heater Death Rattles
When you hear a few bangs or rumbles from your water heater, it should tell you that mineral sediment is building up near the heating element and is impeding its ability to heat the water. Without proper care, draining and flushing the tank, the sounds will only get louder and more frequent. As the sediment coats the heating element, it will begin to burn onto it. The crackling and popping you hear is the sediment bursting or exploding from the heat. But soon, it will be silent as the water heater will fail from being overworked.
Plan Old Age
Just like your kids, spouse, and dog, you should know the age of your home’s water heater. The average water heater that gets some basic care every year should last about 12 to 15 years. So it is critical that you know when it reaches about a decade old to be on the lookout for signs of its demise. But never fear. This memory test is easier than you might think.
All water heaters have a serial number that has the manufacture date included in a basic code. The number should be located near the top of the water heater and include a letter followed by a long string of numbers. The secret code is straightforward. The letter represents the month. A is the first letter of the alphabet, so one is January, 2 is February, and so on. The first two numbers in the long string represent the manufacture year. So 06 would mean it was made in 2006. Any unit with a 0 as the first number is more than due for a replacement.
When you notice any of these issues with your home’s water heater, call (214) 388-8838. The licensed plumbers at Flow Plumbing will evaluate your home’s water heater and provide you with cost-effective options to repair or replace the unit before it leaves you facing a cold shower.