How to Keep Hot Water Running in the Winter

Signs the Hot Water Heater Needs Professional Attention

Water heaters can last over a decade if they’re well-maintained. However, once they begin to break, they need to be repaired or replaced immediately before the issue gets worse. This makes it important for homeowners to be aware of malfunctioning water heater signs, so they know when to call a plumber for service. This blog will help homeowners avoid cold showers during the coldest months of the year. 

Temperature Fluctuationstemperature

Before a water heater completely breaks, there are a few warning signs. Temperature fluctuations are common if the pressure-balancing valve isn’t working. If a valve malfunctions, this causes a sudden drop in water pressure that can result in uneven bursts of cold water.

Water heaters that haven't been flushed or maintained regularly will cause the hot water to run out faster. This is because sediment gathers at the bottom of the tank, leaving less space for the heated water. If maintenance has been neglected for too long, the tank may be corroded, and a replacement of the water heater may be necessary.

Noisy water heaters are another warning sign it needs repair. It occurs when a component in the heater has broken and is either rattling around inside or causing sediment to clog the system. This typically causes a change in temperature in addition to strange sounds. 


Water Heater Leaks

A water heater leak is frequently caused by a problem in the tank. The cold and hot water connections no longer work together if there are loose gaskets or faulty drain valves. A tankless water heater provides hot water as needed and reduces the likelihood of leaks.  

If there is a crack in the water heater, it may need to be replaced. While there are sealants available, this only works for some hot water tanks. Corrosion caused by sediment build-up and a neglected anode rod makes this issue increasingly difficult to fix, especially for older heaters. A replacement water heater is usually necessary if leaks occur inside the tank. A licensed technician can identify whether it’s an issue with the valve or the tank’s structure. 

How Old is Too Old?

A water heater is considered old once it has reached ten years. After a decade’s worth of use, it begins to show signs of wear and tear. It’s much more common for gaskets to detach and cracks to start after this ten-year mark because of normal wear and tear.

The easiest way to tell if a water heater is too old is by measuring corrosion in the tank. Even if a tank is only six or seven years old, it can break due to a high volume of sediment. The chemical build-up is not only difficult for the tank to manage, but it can also cause contamination. 

The most obvious sign of corrosion is reddish brown tap water. Experienced water heater technicians will need to inspect the heater even if this happens infrequently. A small amount of iron in the drinking water is not dangerous, but if the color is noticeably brown or red, this can cause serious health concerns over time.

While some repairs make financial sense for homeowners, continuing to fix an old water heater will eventually cost more than it’s worth. Frequent water heater repair can signal that a replacement is necessary. If homeowners cannot trust their water heater to run for long periods without strange sounds or discoloration, there is a high chance it will fail when the homeowners need it most. 

About Rooter 66 Plumbing Inc.

Rooter 66 Plumbing Inc. is a family-owned and operated local business serving Rancho Cucamonga, CA, and the surrounding areas since 2012. They provide straightforward pricing, extended hours, and thorough communication. Call them today for water heater services in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.