7 Signs Your Conventional Water Heater is on its Way Out

Whether your showers aren’t heating up as nicely as you’re used to or your water temperature is inconsistent throughout the day, your conventional water heater may be on the fritz. Here are some ways to tell.

1.  Not Enough Hot Water

This is the most common sign that your water heater isn’t working as it should. If you can barely get through a shower without it turning cold, or you can’t even wash the dishes or do a load of laundry if you hope to enjoy a warm shower afterward, your water heater needs repair or replacement.

You can troubleshoot the issue first if you want. Try adjusting the temperature on the water heater up a bit. Wait a half hour, then check the water temp as it comes out of the faucet.

Has your family recently grown? If you never seem to have enough hot water and it’s been going on for some time now, it could be that your current water heater isn’t big enough for your family’s usage.

2.     Varying Water Temperature

One minute the water is super hot and then next it’s cold, then it’s lukewarm and then back to hot. Don’t ignore fluctuations in water temp, as the problem will only get worse. First, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may have to replace the heating element or the thermostat.

3.     Leaks

If you see water dripping from the water heater or pooling at the bottom of the tank, this signals a serious internal failure. This is a safety issue that should be addressed by a plumber. You may need a replacement.

4.  Reduced Water Flow

Changes in water flow pressure or rate could be a sign of scale or sediment buildup in either the water heater itself or within the plumbing. As you can imagine, the buildup won’t go away, it will only get worse. You don’t want to be left without hot water when you need it, so have this issue addressed immediately.

5.     Weird Sounds

If you are hearing unusual noises coming from the tank, like whining, pops, cracks, bangs, or gurgles, these can be due to anything from a broken heating element to burning sediment or scale. And if you hear boiling sounds, these are the most worrisome because they indicate pressure buildup or intense overheating.

6.  Discolored or Smelly Water

Strange odors in your water, like rotten eggs, or discoloration like rust or mud, can signal the presence of bacteria or rust inside the tank. You may have a broken anode rod, which is responsible for killing bacteria and removing rust from the water.

7.     Age

Like all appliances, water heaters have a shelf life. You should expect a lifespan of about 10 years from your conventional water heater. If you are approaching this milestone and are having problems, it could just be due to the fact that your heater is getting old and needs replacement.

Contact L&P Plumbing LLC

If you need troubleshooting of your existing conventional water heater or would like to install a new one, contact us at 512-768-6973 for a free quote and consultation.