Mornings can be chilly enough as it is. But have you ever hopped in the shower and been met with ice cold water? Anyone who’s had a broken water heater knows the feeling. And just about everyone has a broken water heater story. Read on to learn how to tell if your water heater is broken.
How to Tell if Your Water Heater is Broken – 5 Ways
1. Your Temperature Fluctuates
Today it’s hot, yesterday it was cool, and who knows what tomorrow will be. Icy? Let’s hope not.
If your hot water isn’t a consistent temperature, or if it won’t get hot enough, your water heater may be broken. First, check the thermostat.
A simple temperature adjustment may do the trick. If so, you’re in luck. If not, it’s time to think about replacing the unit. The best temperature to keep your hot water at is between 120°F and 140°F.
2. Your Water Is Icy
Now, heaven forbid you find yourself without hot water at all. That’s a cold way to start the day. And if your hot water just never comes, your heating element is probably broken. Either that, or its power source isn’t working. One or more parts will need replacement before you get your next hot shower.
3. Your Heater Is Noisy
Normally, your hot water heater makes very little noise. So when it starts getting loud, you’ll notice. Banging, knocking, loud creaks, or a whining noise may indicate sediment build-up inside the tank.
In simple cases, a simple tank flush may fix the issue. However, a heating element in the process of burning out can also cause noise. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get it replaced.
4. Your Water Is Bad
If your hot water tastes (or smells) metallic, your water heater may be on its last legs. Check it for rust spots and compare the taste of your hot water with cold water. For consistency, cover them and let them both come to room temperature before doing the comparison.
5. Your Heater Is Leaking
Well, this one’s an obvious one. But you may not even notice it if the water heater is leaking through the floorboards behind a closet door.
If you do notice a hot water heater leak, or if there’s a puddle around its base, call a home comfort professional immediately. Or else you’ll risk major damage.
Here’s a number to remember: your home water heater is probably only good for 10 years. 15 if you’re lucky and it’s an awesome unit. Then, it’s time to replace the unit with a newer, more efficient model.
Is it time to replace or fix your water heater? Call Express Plumbing! If you live in Harrison, East Brainerd, Hixson, or Chattanooga, TN, our professionals are happy to help.