What to Do if Your Hot Water Heater Breaks
Your water heater is one of the most important elements of your home, and you’ll likely only notice it once your hot water heater breaks.
Water heaters provide hot water for your showers, laundry, dishwasher, and much more. To prevent your hot water heater from not working altogether, our team of plumbing service professionals at Watters Plumbing has listed the top seven signs your hot water heater is nearing the end of its life and three steps to take if it breaks.
7 Signs Your Hot Water Heater is Failing
1. Something Sounds Off
If your hot water heater is popping, making loud banging noises, or rumbling while it attempts to heat water, it’s likely failing.
These noises can be caused by sediment build-up in the bottom of the tank. This occurs naturally through the water heating process as minerals like calcium and magnesium boil and turn into hard sediment particles.
If it’s been a while since you flushed sediment from your hot water heater, the sediment buildup can cause varying water temperatures.
2. Unpredictable Water Temperatures
If you notice your water temperature isn’t consistent, especially when you’re showering, it’s a sign that something on your water heater is beginning to fail.
If not addressed by a plumbing professional immediately, it can lead to bigger issues, such as a full water heater replacement.
3. Limited Supply of Hot Water
Similar to varying water temperatures, a hot water shortage is a sign that your hot water heater is dying.
When water heaters begin to fail, you’ll notice a lack of hot water to do your dishes or take a shower.
4. Low Water Pressure
When you turn on your hot water, does it lack a steady flow of water? This is yet another sign that your hot water heater has a buildup of sediment which is limiting the overall water supply.
5. Your Water Heater is Leaking
If you look at the base of your water heater and you see water, there’s a leak. This can add to your overall water usage (and increase your bill) and decrease the efficiency of your water heater. Leaks can even cause damage to the foundation of your home if left unattended.
Check the valves and base of the heater regularly for leaks, or contact the team at Watters Plumbing for regular maintenance and prevention.
If you notice your water heater is leaking, turn it off and contact the professionals at Watters Plumbing. We can send one of our 24-hour emergency service specialists to your home to address the problem.
6. You’ve Had Your Water Heater for Years
Water heaters tend to last 8 to 12 years with proper maintenance. If your hot water heater is at that age or exceeding it, it may be time to contact Watters Plumbing for a consultation.
7. Higher Water Bills
Sediment build-up in your hot water heater can decrease its efficiency, making it difficult for the tank to provide hot water throughout your home.
When you get your water bill and see that it’s higher than normal, it’s a good idea to check your water heater.
3 Steps to Take if Your Hot Water Heater Breaks
1. Shut off the Water
In the case of pipes or other components of your hot water heater bursting, shut off the water. The cold water supply line will be at the top of your water heater. Twist it clockwise until you can no longer turn it, stopping the water from further entering the hot water heater.
2. Cut off Power
If your hot water heater is broken and the power supply to it is still on, it can cause another hazard to your home. The heating element of your water heater will turn off on its own once the water reaches a specific temperature, but if broken, nothing will trigger it to stop.
In your electrical breaker box, turn off the breaker for your hot water heater. If you have a gas hot water heater, close the gas line valve connected to your water heater. If you smell natural gas, evacuate your home and call your utility company.
3. Clean the Surrounding Area
To prevent further damage and make it safer for you and our plumbing service team, remove any furniture, boxes, or other items that surround your hot water heater.
Use a wet vacuum to remove standing water from the floor and run a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth.
Take photos of the damaged area if you plan to submit an insurance claim.
Contact the Professionals at Watters Plumbing Today
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs that your water heater may be failing, contact the Fox Cities plumbing professionals at Watters Plumbing today! If your water heater is already broken, take the steps to contact plumbing professionals to assist you in determining the right hot water heater for your home.
Our team can help you have consistent hot water flowing through your faucets or can save you from costly repairs with regular water heater maintenance.