9 Red Flags of Water Heater Failure

Do you feel the winter chill in the air? The hot Guilford County summers we know and love have come to an end. Now, it’s time to shift our focus to the holiday season and all the cold days that come with it. 

Did you know that water heaters have to work harder in the winter? A lot of people don’t! As the temperatures continue to fall, the underground water supply also gets colder, forcing your water heater to work harder during colder months. This is why most plumbing companies, including yours truly, recommend that all homeowners schedule a water heater tune-up during this time of the year. 

At Go Green, we provide both tank and tankless water heater maintenance across Greensboro, NC, and other nearby areas, for your convenience. You don’t want to get caught in a cold shower because your water heater can’t keep up with the cold temperatures — we will make sure you won’t!

Better yet, if you know your water heater is in need of a serious upgrade, inquire about replacing it sooner rather than later. Here are some warning signs of hot water heater failure to keep in mind. 

Lack of Hot Water

This should need no explanation. A complete lack of hot water is one of the most common warning signs of a hot water heater going out. When your “hot” water is actually freezing cold, no matter how long you let it run to warm up, it’s most likely due to a failing system. 

Water Gets Warm, Never Hot

Unless someone adjusted the water heater temperature without your knowledge, water that gets warm but never hot is a glaring sign that your water heater is just about ready to bite the dust.

Time and lack of proper maintenance can cause significant sediment and limescale to build up in the tank and the connecting pipes. Eventually, this creates a barrier between the heat source and the water, forcing your water heater to work harder and harder. If the system is overworked but still can’t reach the desired temperature, it may be at its breaking point. 

Old Age

Like with all things, old age can get the best of your water heater. The older your system gets, the more warning signs of hot water heater failure you may encounter. Energy-efficient water heaters often last ten years before they need to be replaced.

Do you know the age of your system? If not, try checking your water heater’s serial number. This label, attached by the manufacturer, sits on the side of the hot water tank. In most cases, the first two digits of the serial number will tell you the year it was manufactured. Once you know the age, you can watch for additional warning signs your hot water heater is going out.

Hot Water is Muddy or Rusty

Muddy or rusty-looking hot water isn’t just unappealing and unsightly — it’s also a sign of a damaged water heater. When the anode rod, the part designed to prevent rust and corrosion, goes bad and isn’t replaced, your system will quickly follow suit. If caught early, a professional can eliminate the rust and install a new anode rod. However, if a significant portion of the water heater is rusted, so much so that rust is leaking into the water, a replacement may be the only suitable solution.

Hot Water Smells Strange

As it turns out, you can identify warning signs of hot water heater failure with nearly all of your senses—including scent and taste. A metallic taste in your hot water or a “rotten egg” smell can indicate that there’s a problem at hand.

While this may be one of the signs your hot water heater is failing, it could also just indicate that your tank needs to be cleaned or the anode rod requires replacing.

Unusual Water Heater Noises

In a similar vein, another common warning sign of hot water heater failure is strange sounds coming from your tank. Rumbling or popping sounds can indicate sediment buildup within the water heater tank.

When sediment builds up in your tank, it can cause your system to lose efficiency because the tank has to work extra hard to heat both the water and the sediment. It’s crucial to regularly flush your water heater to prevent sediment problems and avoid having it replaced prematurely.

Leaking Water Heater Tank

When looking for warning signs your hot water heater is going out, treat leaks with extra caution.

A leak is never a good sign, especially if it’s coming from the bottom part of the tank. When the tank is leaking, this indicates the tank’s integrity has been compromised beyond repair. You will need to replace the water heater immediately! If the leak is coming from the top part of the tank, you may have a shot in the dark at saving your appliance if you contact Go Green’s plumbing specialists right away.

Skyrocketing Repair Costs

Perhaps one of the less obvious warning signs of a hot water heater going out is expensive service costs. Scheduling routine tune-ups and repairs for your water heater can get more expensive the older your system gets. When this happens, it may be more cost-effective to consider a water heater replacement in High Point.

Water Heater Surpassed Lifespan

During regular water heater maintenance, technicians will keep the system functioning by inspecting the pressure relief valve, flushing the system, and making any necessary repairs to prevent cold water. However, even with tune-ups, your system may have surpassed its lifespan and needs to be replaced.

If you discover any of the above signs of water heater failure, it’s time to call a professional. We are here to help you avoid water heater breakdowns, leaks, and warm or rusty water with trustworthy replacement services.

When you notice signs your water heater is going bad, Go Green is available for residential and commercial water heater replacements in Greensboro, NC, and the surrounding areas. If you want to make sure your hot water will flow smoothly all winter long, now is the time to call and schedule an appointment! Our expert plumbers will conduct a thorough inspection and tune-up to determine the health of your current water heater, and we’ll provide you with recommendations on how you can help improve your water heater’s efficiency.

Contact us today for an emergency plumber in Greensboro, NC, you can trust!

Go Green Will Be Closed on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. Emergency Services Are available for Members Only.