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5 Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail

Posted on: October 24, 2017

Water heaters should heat water, of course, but there are other warning signs that yours will break down soon. If you never have enough hot water, you might need to get a larger unit or switch to an on-demand tankless water heater. That’s an upgrade you can make at your leisure, as long as nothing else is wrong.

Think your water heater might be on the fritz? Is it more than a decade old, and you’re wondering how long you can cross your fingers? Here are the top 5 early warning signs that you need water heater replacement.

Rusty Water

Everybody sees some reddish-brown water from time to time, especially with old pipes. If you see rusty water only from the hot tap, let it run for a minute or longer. If the rust lingers, flush the water heater to try to clear things up, and then replace the water heater if it continues.

Popping or Rumbling Noises

Do you hear a muffled sound of popcorn or marbles inside the tank? That’s caused by a heavy buildup of sediment. Draining might alleviate the issue temporarily, but take this as a sign that the water heater won’t last much longer.

Tankless water heaters can also make strange noises, such as hissing or gurgling, when they are struggling and may need replacement.

Leakage Issues

Water puddles around heaters cause a lot of false alarms. Some condensation is normal. In fact, a water heater needs to let off some steam, literally, so it does not explode.

When we talk about real leaks from a water heater, we mean water escapes the tank near the bottom or around the pipe connections. Unfortunately, this indicates serious trouble and may even be dangerous. Be thankful that you saw the leak, and take this opportunity to replace the water heater before it goes kaput.

Scorch Marks on the Water Heater

Don’t get burned; call a professional immediately if you see blackened or scorched marks on a water heater. The venting system has a clog or damage, and more problems could be well underway. Get repairs or a new water heater before something dangerous happens.

It’s Just Plain Old

Oftentimes, people don’t think about the age of a water heater. It’s a lot shorter than you might hope (as little as 8 years for some models). Not sure when it was installed? Look for any alphanumeric codes on the stickers and check with the manufacturer; one of these codes indicates the month and year it was built.

Water Heater Replacement in Chicago’s North Shore

Glenbrook Heating & Air Conditioning has served the Glenview, Illinois area since 1969 with water heater repairs and replacements. We can install a top-of-the-line water heater or tankless heater from A.O. Smith, Navien, and more top brands.

If you spot any signs of trouble, call 847-729-0114 or contact us online to request water heater services in Chicago’s North Shore.

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