Closeup of plumber using screwdriver while fixing boiler or water heater, working on heating system in apartment. Manual work, maintenance, repair service concept

4 Signs of Water Heater Trouble

Having a broken water heater can be a very frustrating and inconvenient problem. Not only does it mean no hot water for showers and other tasks, but it can also mean costly repairs or even replacement. Fortunately, there are some signs you can look for to know when it’s time to give your water heater some attention.

1. Funny Noises

Water heaters should make very little noise when they operate. If you hear noises from yours, it indicates a problem with the appliance. A clanking or rattling noise generally indicates sediment buildup. Having the water heater tank drained could fix the problem. A whistling or hissing noise usually means high pressure levels. It’s important to have a plumber examine the sources of the whistling to address any pressure concerns.

2. Inconsistent Water Temperature

If the water heater doesn’t generate hot water, the gas burner or heating element may be damaged. A technician can repair the damaged component for you to get more time out of the heater. In the case of an electric water heater, you should hit the reset button in case something caused a surge. In a gas water heater, you may want to try relighting the pilot.

Sometimes, the water heater will produce hot water at times but not consistently. In this case, the water heater may be too small for your needs. The thermostat may also require replacement. A professional plumber can find the source of your issues with inconsistent hot water.

3. Leaks

A water heater leak will waste water and can potentially lead to water damage. A water heater leak may develop at the drain valve or pressure relief valve. Small drips from the pressure relief valve are to be expected, but larger leaks must be addressed as soon as possible.

A water heater leak from the water heater tank itself indicates corrosion of the tank material. Corrosion naturally occurs in metal, especially when exposed to water. When the tank starts to corrode, it’s a sign that you will need to replace the entire water heater.

4. High Utility Bills

When your water heater struggles to operate, it will use more energy than usual to meet your hot water demands. This will drive up your bills. Often, repairs can restore your water heater to optimal function and get your bills back in check. If your heater is several years old, however, you may want to replace it altogether. A modern heater will use much less energy and could lead to significant savings.

Do you have any of these problems with your water heater? Call Steve Beaton Plumbing in Redding, CA to learn more about our water heater services.