Signs of Trouble with Your Hot Water Heater? 7 Common Red Flags

Cartoon of man looking at leaking water heater

Most of us don’t give much thought to the water heater in our home. It’s something we take for granted — until something goes wrong. And when it does, getting it fixed is foremost on our minds.

For homeowners in Westchester and Putnam counties, Robison has been the go-to source for diagnosing, servicing, and installation of hot water heaters of all kinds. We want you to be prepared! Here are some potential red flags that require your attention…and a call to us:

  • Red flag #1: Water looks bad, smells bad…even tastes bad! Over time, minerals, sediment, and other debris can collect in the bottom of your water heater’s tank, producing rusty, muddy-looking water. You may also notice unpleasant odors — or even that your tap water has an odd, metallic taste.
  • Red flag #2: Look out for leaks and puddles: Leakage is one of the more common water heater problems. If you notice a puddle of standing water around your water heater, it’s time to replace the tank. Depending on the source of the leak, a leaking water heater may indicate an internal failure of the unit that requires immediate attention. Otherwise, you face the risk of flooding and extensive water damage to your home.
  • Red flag #3: Temperature control problems: Does the temperature of your water suddenly go from hot to cold, even without touching the faucet handle? Inconsistent hot water temperature is another potential sign of a hot water heater that’s flagging.
  • Red flag #5: Not enough hot water: If it seems to take ages for your water to get hot, it could indicate an issue with the thermostat or heating element. This may also indicate an accumulation of sediment in the tank. If replacing the thermostat or heating element, or if flushing the tank doesn’t solve the problem, it may be time to replace the unit.
  • Red flag #6: Weird water heater sounds: It is not unusual for a water heater to make some noise, especially when the burner unit is activating to heat the water. However, there are certain sounds you should look out for, such as creaking, rattling, banging, knocking, or whining that may indicate possible signs of trouble. You can try flushing out the tank to remove any sediment that’s causing the noise, but if this doesn’t work, it’s time to call Robison for an assessment.
  • Red flag #7: It’s showing its age: The normal lifespan of most water heaters is 10-15 years. And as with any mechanical device, even a high-quality, well-maintained water heater will not last forever. While an older water heater may not necessarily exhibit signs of trouble, it poses a greater risk of a problem or even a total failure.

Red Flags Require Robison! 

The best way to know for sure if your water heater is in peak working condition is to contact the professionals at Robison. With headquarters in Port Chester, NY, our trained technicians have Westchester and Putnam covered — and can quickly diagnose most common water heater problems and perform expert repairs or install a new water heater if needed. For more information, call us today at (914) 730-5287 and be sure to ask us about another great option – tankless water heaters!

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