Warning signs of a failed water heater

It might come as no surprise: not getting enough hot water is a sign that your water heater has issues. Traditional water heaters, working with your gas or electric heating system, should store and be ready to produce a lot (30-50 gallons) of hot water.

Over time, though, hard water, which has a high mineral content, can diminish the efficiency of a water heater in a South Florida home.

As you heat water, the minerals separate out from it. They tend to collect at the bottom of your water storage tank. This buildup blocks the burner from sending its full heating power to the water in the tank. As mineral deposits accumulate, even less heat gets through to the water. That’s how a South Florida home’s hot water supply dwindles.

Eventually the constant overworking of the heating unit stresses the system, so it starts to make a clanging sound or even forms a leak. Or the controls may stop working, so the whole heater system will need replacement.

A simple yearly tank flushing can stop these problems before they start.

Not only that. Giving your water heater a yearly checkup keeps your home and family safe. One of the components a technician will check is the safety relief valve. That valve, as modest and unassuming as it might appear, has a job of the utmost importance. Its duty is to release the pressure that builds up should the controls fail to stop overheating the water. If this valve fails in its appointed task, the tank can explode and destroy a home.

So give your safety relief valve some love: get it checked. And never, ever try to cap or plug a leak. When a water heater part needs replacing, for safety’s sake, have it done right.

These other tell-tale signs are a water tank’s call for help.

Besides the clanging and banging, and the lowered volume of hot water in your home, you might experience some of these signs that your water heating system is calling out for maintenance. Look at your tank’s connections for leaks or rust. A neglected leak can turn into a flood. And call for maintenance if you find…

  • Cloudy-Looking or Metallic-Smelling Hot Water. Mineral sediment, once pressed out of the tank, will turn your water cloudy or infuse it with an unpleasant, metallic scent.
  • Poor Faucet Performance. You might start to notice your water isn’t flowing as well through the faucet. The mineral material could be clogging its aerator screens.

Tankless heaters need regular maintenance too.

You might opt to replace your current system with a tankless one. Tankless water heaters don’t heat water to store it until you need it; they heat what you need. They’re efficient workers, heating 2 to 3 gallons a minute.

While tankless systems can be more pricey to install (and your home might need more than one), they’re a decent investment for homeowners who install and find their energy use cut by some 25% or more. A tankless heater will last 20-30 years with the proper maintenance (please consult your manufacturer’s recommendations.) Regular maintenance supports the tankless heater’s efficiency and lifespan.

A to Z Statewide Plumbing can maintain, repair, or troubleshoot any water heater.

Don’t put off factory-recommended maintenance. Call us to schedule your residential water heater service.

In an emergency, call 954-981-2133. We can get out to your home, 24/7.

Aaron Atkins

Delivering exceptional customer service is first and foremost, but, when he is not focused on supplying your home or business with the highest level of customer support, Aaron prefers to lace up the running shoes and pound pavement for hours on end. Originally hailing from the snowbelt of Pennsylvania, Aaron currently resides in sunny South Florida with his wife and three children.