shower_headOur water heaters work tirelessly to supply our entire home with hot water. When they work, we rarely give them a thought. When something goes wrong, however, your entire day grinds to a standstill. Watch for these signs that it’s time to contact a professional plumber to have your heater repaired.

1. Only Cold Temperatures
Do you turn on your faucet and wait, only to get ice-cold temperatures? There are many reasons your heater may be failing to heat water, including a blown fuse. In some cases, a simple repair or part replacement can have you back in hot water, although there are cases in which you will need a new appliance. Fortunately, a broken heating element or gas thermocouple is fairly easy to replace.

2. Too Little Hot Water
Does hot water run out too quickly? If so, your thermostat may be set too low, or you need to replace the thermostat. If the thermostat isn’t the problem, you may be dealing with a build-up of sediment in the tank. This sediment takes up a lot of space and can damage the heating component, and the heater will be heating less water. It can also make the heater less efficient and overworked, shortening its life. You may even have a water heater that is simply too small for your household needs, in which case you will need a larger capacity water heater.

3. A Loud Water Heater
Do you hear loud or strange noises coming from the heater? There may be many problems, such as the voltage exceeding what the appliance can handle, or simply an extreme build-up of sediment that has reduced the water level and is overworking the appliance. The sound you hear may be the heating element burning this sediment.

Heaters can often be repaired to give you a few more years of use, but there are some cases in which it’s time to consider getting a new heater. If you live in an area with hard water, the mineral buildup will shorten the life of your tank. Remember that most water heaters have a warranty of 5 to 10 years, so the unit should last about twice as long. Older homes with aging water heaters or recurring problems signify it’s probably time to replace the appliance. If your heater is more than 15 to 20 years old, makes loud noises, fails to consistently produce hot water or cannot maintain a constant temperature, it is probably at the end of its life span. If the water heater itself is leaking, you will absolutely need a new appliance, as there is no way to repair a leaking tank.

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If you are having problems with your water heater, always leave it to a professional. Both electric and gas heaters can be very dangerous so do not risk trying to fix the problem on your own. Call Haldeman Mechanical today!