Is the Water Heater Saying It's at the End of Its Life?

Indicators That a Home’s Water Heater Needs Help

Water heaters are something people tend to take for granted in this country. For the most part, they sit in their little nook in the laundry room or bathroom and just do their job, but as with all appliances, there will come a time, even with proper maintenance, that a hot water heater will need to be replaced. If the model has been working for more than ten years, it will likely be more expensive to find and replace the parts than replacing the whole thing. Likewise, inconsistent water temperatures can result from a faulty water heater that has just exceeded its ability to function. These are not the only indicators of a need for water heater replacement; here are three major issues in detail.

Rumbles, Bangs, and Popssounds

If a home’s water heater starts making noises such as gurgling, rumbling, or popping, it can indicate that the water heater has sediment build-up. This can be caused by hard water, a corroded pipe or tank, or a bad anode rod. Regular water heater maintenance may be able to clear these issues up without a complete replacement. Here are some of the strategies that a professional plumber might employ:
  • Flushing the Tank: This cleaning method empties the hot water tank and uses chemical solvents or cleaners to dissolve the sediment in the tank and flush it out through the sewer system. This can improve noise and make temperatures more consistent and longer-lasting.
  • Replacing or Coating Old Pipe or Damaged Tank: If the sediment is coming from the pipes themselves or corrosion in the tank, the pipes and tank can be coated with sealant, or the pipes can be replaced. 
  • Replacing the Anode Rod: Since the anode rod attracts corrosive materials and corrosion like a magnet, if it is not working properly, these materials will settle into the tank and cause noises or temperature inconsistencies. Replacing the anode rod can often clear things up without completely replacing the water heater.

How Does the Water Look and Smell?water

Another problem that is often created by a faulty anode rod is water discoloration or foul odors. If one cannot remove corrosion from the water, it may end up in the homeowner’s bath, dishwasher, or drinking glass. This is usually repaired by simple maintenance of flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod. Sometimes, however, this does not fix the problem. Why might a homeowner continue to see foul-smelling or rusty-colored water? Here is why:
  • Corrosion in the tank is too extensive
  • Recoating was unsuccessful
  • Older pipes

If the water is not cleared up, this may mean that the entire water heater needs to be replaced. Clients should remember that there are many options for water heater replacement, including tankless water heaters or “instant” water heaters.

Indoor Leaks and Water Damage

A corroded hot water tank is responsible for more than just unappealing water; leaks can be a direct result. If there is a leak in a home’s water heater, then one must consult a professional immediately. Water damage caused by even the slowest of leaks can be extensive and can cause structural problems throughout the house. If the leak is caught and fixed early, then one can avoid more expensive problems. Call in the pros, and the job should be quick and easy. 

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services has proudly served the people of Carmel, IN and the surrounding areas for over thirty years. Their workmanship is backed up by an A+ BBB rating and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call today for more information on their water heater services.