Signs Your Hot Water Heater is Failing

Right now, summer still rules, fall though will be here faster than you realize, and as the need for consistent hot water arises, this is a good time to assess how your hot water heater is doing. Hot water heaters generally last between 8 to 12 years, and from year 12 on, is considered to be on ‘borrowed time’. And a good time to start thinking about replacing it. Your hot water heater is used for bathing, cleaning, and washing, so keeping it in good order is important.


Signs your hot water heater needs professional care:

  • Rust.

The anode rods inside your heater are literally sacrificial rods as they are rusted to protect the metal walls. These need to be replaced over time.

  • Sediment Buildup.

When hot water is heated, mineral deposits separate and settle into the bottom of the tank. This sediment will buildup over time, reducing efficiency. (For more information see How to Drain Your Water Heater)

  • Wrong size heater.

If you have purchased a hot water heater too small to accommodate all the appliances and people in the home, it will cause the heater to work harder and it will not last as long. A plumber can help you find the right size heater for your family.

  • Poor air quality.

For combustion to occur, a water heater needs to draw air in. Issues can occur when the air quality is poor or dangerous. Make sure to keep corrosive substances like bleach and ammonia well away from you hot water heater.

  • Leaking water.

Remember that the water leaking from the hot water heater is HOT, this can damage the floor as well as the walls, which may eventually lead to mold as well as other foundation problems. For the most part hot water heaters are required to be placed against an external wall of the house. Therefore, most hot water heaters are in garages or basements. You will want to place your water heater next to an outer wall to make room for the flue. Observe at least monthly the status of the floor where the hot water heater is, for cracks, bubbles or constant weeping or dampness of the floor.

Having the plumbing professionals at Jersey Plumbing in once a year to assess your hot water heater is an excellent way to resolve issues before they become expensive problems.


Drips and Leaks

Just as you are drifting off to sleep, plink. What? Did you hear anything? And so, you lie back and wait, listening for...what may be or was it your imagine a...plink. Nope. No imagination. One of the problems with hearing drips in the middle of the night, is that they are difficult to place and they never disappear on their own. And until you get it fixed you will hear dripping noises even when there is none.

Your job when it is not the middle of the night and you have time is to:

  • Turn faucets on and off in the bathroom, as well as flushing the toilet, and checking around the showerhead.
  • Look for dampness outside the dishwasher, run the faucets in the sink, and check under the sink for wet or dampness on the pipes.
  • In the basement look for puddles or damp areas and make sure the pipes or hoses are all connected and free of moisture.

Depending on where you find a leak, you can feel confident fixing it yourself with your tool chest of plumbing tools. (see Plumbing Tools for information) If it is a washer that needs replacing, or a bolt that needs tightening, you have the tools to do it. This is very true if the leak in question is a faucet or showerhead. As with making any plumbing repair, remember to always:

  • Do the repair on a weekday because if anything goes wrong, emergency plumbing services are pricey.
  • Turn off the water.
  • Make sure to have a bucket or towels to mop up water. There will always be more water than anticipated.

Other times, as when leaks or drips occur behind a wall, in a ceiling or attic space, getting to the precise location of the drip can be not only time consuming, but difficult to repair. Calling the professionals at Jersey Plumbing can save you time and aggravation; they have the skills, expertise, and tools to fix the problem correctly. Remember it is not just walls, but electrical lines and outlets, interior pipes, and support beams to consider. Let the professionals do what they do best, so you and your family can sleep through the night without concerning dripping noises.

Jersey Plumbing Service
PO Box 7371
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Click to Email Us
Fax: 1-908-647-1517

NJ Masters Plumbers License #7359

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