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How Can a Damaged Water Heater Impact Your Entire Home?

Signs That You Have A Faulty Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters are one of the greatest modern conveniences. They are vital to society’s health and safety because they allow people to enjoy bathing and showering, increasing everyone's hygiene. They also contribute to overall health by providing hot water so everyone can do laundry more efficiently.

Typically they go ignored as long as they keep providing people with hot water but there are more signs that your hot water heater is in distress than just running cold water. Paying attention to these signs can help you prevent a hot water heater failure that could result in inconvenience and thus the need for water heater services

That Rust Colored Water Isn’t Normal

colored waterOften the first noticeable sign of a faulty hot water heater is discoloration of the water. The dirty water can take on a reddish color or maybe gray and hazy. A reddish color is usually an indicator of rust that has leached into the water.

Gray, hazy water is usually a sign that you have hard or mineral-laden water that is coalescing in your hot water tank. Rust can come from the tank or pipes that feed the tank or service your fixtures.

Old galvanized pipes should be replaced since they can cause issues with your home’s plumbing system. Bacteria can sometimes cause rust-colored water, which is usually only the case when water is non-chlorinated and it is not dangerous.

The hazy water that indicates mineral-laden water means that you should drain and flush your hot water tank on a regular basis. Depending on the source of your water it may be advantageous to install a water softener or filter to reduce the number of dissolved solids in your water.

The Water Tastes Odd

The second most noticeable sign of a faulty hot water heater is a metallic taste or smell in your water. The causes of metallic water taste coincide with the same issues that cause discolored water, most notably old galvanized supply pipes. These pipes should be replaced soon. If no galvanized pipes exist in your system you should verify the integrity of your hot water heater.

metallic water

Metallic tastes in your water can also indicate a build-up of sediment in the bottom of the tank. As the tank refills the sediment gets stirred up and makes its way through the pipes to the fixtures. As it goes through the fixtures it can cause damage and plug up aerator screens. The sediment also causes your water heater to become less efficient, raising your energy bills.

Noisy Hot Water Heaters

noisy water heaterA noisy hot water heater may not be the first sign of a faulty water heater but it is certainly the most shocking and potentially the most dangerous. If your hot water heater starts knocking or making a thumping or boiling noise it should be addressed immediately.

This noise is an indication that scale and debris build-up is obstructing the burner or heating elements of your hot water tank. As the water at the bottom of the tank boils it dramatically increases the pressure within the tank. Hot water heaters are equipped with pressure relief valves to prevent tanks from exploding.

However, in this case, the pressure relief valve would pop open and expel hot water into your home causing a danger of burns and property damage. If the pressure relief valve failed to operate correctly it could lead to an exploding tank.

About Dutch Enterprises

Routine draining and flushing of your heater can prevent most of these problems and help prolong the life of your tank. If you’re experiencing any of these water heater issues or need help with any plumbing issues, contact Dutch Enterprises. Dutch Enterprises has been servicing customers in the Cape Girardeau since 1962.