At any given moment, it can be hard to determine what kind of condition your water heater is in. Even though you use yours every day, throughout the day, it’s not always easy to recognize when there’s a problem with this system. As with most other home comfort systems, problems may not manifest into highly visible symptoms until they’ve already done a significant amount of damage.
If you want to ensure your water heater stays in great shape, it’s a good idea to know the subtle signs that something might be amiss with your water heater. After all, the faster you get it fixed, the less chance there is of it growing into a much more urgent situation, not excluding a total system breakdown.
With this in mind, read on as we uncover a couple of signs that your water heater may, in fact, need repair.
A Decline in Hot Water Output
If multiple people in your home are taking showers or otherwise running hot water at the same time in your home, or if you’re in the habit of taking hour-long showers, then you’re probably going to use up the hot water being stored in your water heater. However, there is a big difference between overwhelming your water heater like this and the system just not being able to generate enough output for even a moderate amount of demand.
If you find that your water heater isn’t generating the amount of hot water that it used to be able to, give us a call.
There are a few potential reasons why this might occur. One potential problem is sediment buildup. This is especially prevalent with tank water heaters and in homes that have a large presence of hard water–that is, water with a high level of minerals in it like magnesium, calcium, and iron. These minerals are harmless to ingest, but they are not so harmless on your plumbing system, water heater included.
As mineral deposits build up on the heat exchangers and other components of the water heater, it prevents the water from effectively heating up, and therefore you might get lukewarm water as a result, or run out of hot water faster. Another possibility is that you have a leak–which is a much more serious problem and should be dealt with right away by a trained professional.
Sudden and Unexpected Fluctuations in Temperature
While the above-mentioned problem deals with running out of hot water, when we mention fluctuations in temperature we’re talking about the hot water going completely cold and then right back to hot. This is most often caused by a problem with the water heater’s dip tube, which is plastic tubing that runs from the water line at the top of the water heater tank to the bottom.
Cold, fresh water enters the system and runs through the tube so it can be heated right by the burner assembly/heat exchangers. if the dip tube is cracked or otherwise damaged, however, it can allow cold water to leak into the hot water, and that’s when you’ll notice this issue.