Every homeowner dreads the day that their water heater breaks, as often there are no warning signs and it can happen at a very inopportune time. The good news is that there are actually some signs that your water heater is going to fail in the near future- if you know what to look for. Take a look below at four of those signs that can help you predict a failure and avoid unwanted damages.
- The Age of Your Water Heater: Do you know how old your water heater is? If you don’t, be sure to check the manufacturer’s sticker on the heater for the serial number. This number will tell you what date the water heater was created, but it will be written abnormally. The serial number will begin with a letter whose place in the alphabet represents the month (ie. f is the 6th letter, so it represents the 6th month, or June), plus a number to represent the year (ie. 05 for 2005). If you cannot figure your own water heater out, check the manufacturer’s website. If your water heater is approaching ten years old, consider replacing it before damages happen.
- Water that Appears Rusty: If you notice rusty water coming out of your faucets when they are running hot water only, this may be a sign of interior rusting on your water heater. Another cause of this is galvanized piping, so to test the true cause drain a few buckets of hot water from your water heater. If the water is still rusty by the third bucket, your water heater is most likely in danger of leaking soon.
- Noise or Rumbling: Water heaters will build up sediment with age, and this sediment will eventually harden at the bottom of the tank. This will cause the water heater to rumble or make banging noises as it heats up because of the extra effort required to heat through the sediment. When you notice this, replace your water heater as it is now taking more wear and is also less efficient at this stage.
- Water on the Floor Near the Heater: It is good practice to check around your water heater for moisture once in a while, especially if your heater is older. Moisture on the floor can mean that your water heater has a hole in it, and needs replacing as soon as possible. Be diligent when checking this as the heater can leak sporadically due to the expansion and contraction of the metal, so there may not always be water on the floor. Another thing to check before replacing is the overflow pipe and the fittings, as they could be leaking instead of the tank itself.