Your home's water heater plays an important role in your everyday life but it's likely something you don't spend a lot of time dwelling on until something goes wrong. In order to prolong the life of your heater, it's a good idea to get an inspection at least once a year from a heating repair service. But in the meantime, you should educate yourself on potential warning signs that something might be wrong so that you can take action before it's too late. Here are three potential warning signs that your water heater may need professional service.
Moisture Outside or Around the Tank
Most water heaters tend to be out of sight and out of mind but it's a good idea to get into the habit of at least glancing at it once a month. One tell-tale sign that a problem is brewing is if you notice some moisture in the immediate area around the tank. This usually indicates there is a backup or leak somewhere within the system. If after making sure all external valves and pipes are tightened you can't find the source of the problem, there's a chance it could be coming from the inner tank. Get a professional out to your house to take a closer look.
Too Much Noise When It Turns On
Your water heater is going to make at least a couple audible sounds as it turns itself on to heat another batch. But if you hear something that could be described as a banging or rumbling sound each time it turns on and off, you likely an issue that needs to be addressed. Most often, loud noises while operating may indicate that there is a build up of sediment in the bottom of the tank. Sediment doesn't just make noise, it can also lower the efficiency of your entire system. Get a professional to clean it out.
This sign will likely be the most noticeable in your everyday life. If you turn on the hot water and see that it appears to be a bit brown, don't just assume there's a temporary problem with the local water supply. It's likely that the problem could be coming from your own water heater in the form of rust. Rust often shows up in water tanks right before a leak happens, so time is of the essence. Contact a heating repair service like Chappel's Heating & Cooling that handles water heaters to see if the problem can be fixed or if it's time for a full replacement.
Even if you routinely get your water heater inspected, make sure you are keeping an eye and ear on it in between visits from your HVAC specialist. Discolored hot water, moisture appearing where it shouldn't be and loud bumping noises in the night could all be a sign that your water heater needs to be cleaned out, repaired or replaced.