Perhaps the biggest mistake homeowners make when it comes to their water heaters is waiting too long to call their plumber. An expert plumber can restore your home comfort and help you save money both in the short term and the long. Let’s explore issues that you may be experiencing that should have you on the phone with your plumber right away.

Excess Moisture

If you find a pool of water in your water heater closet, you’re in obvious need of a plumber. That said, you shouldn’t ignore excess moisture no matter how seemingly minor. You could potentially have a small imperfection in the tank allowing some water to escape. Ignoring it simply runs the risk of much more serious water damage. Another common problem is a bad drain valve that allows water from the tank to seep out of it slowly. Condensation from the water heater is a potential concern as well. This is often an insulation issue. Your plumber will either need to install or replace it.

No Hot Water

It’s a terrible experience to wake up to no hot water coming from your faucets and showerheads. Check to make sure that the water heater is on and that there’s no sign of leakage. If you have a gas water heater, inspect the pilot light. Otherwise, check the circuit breaker. If there isn’t an obvious difficulty that you’re able to correct, it’s time to call in a professional.

There are many reasons why a water heater may be unable to provide hot water. A common issue is that a thermostat is malfunctioning or has failed outright. With gas systems, there may be a gas leak, gas valve failure or a malfunction with the burner or pilot light. With electric water heaters, there may be a problem with a heating element or issues with wiring or other electrical components.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

An isolated tripped circuit breaker usually isn’t a big deal, but don’t ignore an intermittent problem. If you find that your water heater circuit breaker has tripped, reset it. If it trips again, don’t continue resetting it. It could be that you have a worn circuit breaker that needs replacing. It could also be that the water heater wiring is faulty or that a thermostat or heating element has gone bad.

Low Water Pressure

If you’re experiencing low water pressure from only the hot side, your water heater is the likely culprit. In most cases with a tank water heater, your plumber will need to flush the system. The tank probably has an accumulation of sediment and minerals and may have a bad anode to boot. Other potential difficulties include a kink in the flexible water conduit or a shut-off valve that’s not fully open.

It’s a misconception that water heaters can only cause pressure issues on the hot side. Limescale buildup, for instance, can actually encroach on the plumbing and cause wider troubles. Of course, such scenarios are more difficult to diagnose. The first step is to make sure you aren’t dealing with a short-term pressure loss. Your municipal water system may be the cause of that. If it’s a longer-term problem, call your plumber to determine if your pressure loss is due to the water heater.

Unusual Noises

Odd noises are something that many homeowners ignore but shouldn’t. Typically, this means that there is buildup in the tank. You need your water heater flushed and, potentially, your anode rod replaced. This is all relatively simple maintenance that will extend the life of your equipment. Putting it off is only going to cost you more over time. In fact, we recommend scheduling your plumber to flush your tank at least once a year as preventative maintenance.

There are other noises that you may experience that aren’t related to sediment buildup. Humming indicates that a component is vibrating excessively and coming loose. Screeching indicates that pressure in the system is too high. It likely suggests a failure of one of the valves. Tapping may suggest sediment buildup but can point to a bad valve as well.

Discolored Hot Water

Discolored hot water usually suggests that the accumulation of sediment and minerals is substantial. If the discoloration is red or orange, the tank has started to corrode. If you get to it early enough, your plumber can replace the anode rod and flush the tank. If the corrosion is severe, you may need to replace your water heater before a leak occurs.

Water discoloration doesn’t always point to your water heater. If the issue is short term, it was likely due to the municipal water supply. It can also be rust or other corrosion in your plumbing beyond the water heater. In some cases, it’s bacteria. If that’s the case, your plumber can flush the tank, refill it and then treat it.

Smelly Hot Water

Hot water that has a bad smell generally has the “rotten egg” odor. This is due to anaerobic bacteria growing on the aluminum and magnesium elements. While it smells disgusting, it’s generally harmless. It’s common in an unoccupied home where the water heater has gone unused for an extended period. In this case, the problem will usually go away on its own if you don’t mind waiting it out. If you do mind, call your plumber who can flush the tank, refill it and treat it.

If you notice this smell in a system that’s being used regularly, call your plumber right away. Your system certainly needs flushing and treatment. You may need a new sacrificial anode rode installed. Your plumber will also inspect and test the thermostat, as temperature can play a role in bacterial growth.

Cold Water Sandwich

A cold water sandwich is a scenario exclusive to on-demand water heater systems. This is when you get hot water followed by a burst of cold water until the hot water returns. It’s a common problem with tankless water heaters and more a quality of life issue than a serious problem. If you don’t won’t to live with the issue, you’ll definitely need a plumber. Your plumber will either need to add a small buffer tank or a recirculating pump. A buffer tank is the simplest solution in most cases. It’s so effective that many manufacturers are integrating them into their newer designs.

Fluctuating Hot Water Temperature

Fluctuating temperature affects comfort and is potentially dangerous. In both tank and tankless systems, it’s most often a thermostat issue. It can also suggest a malfunction with a burner or heating element. In an on-demand system, it may also indicate a dirty air filter or a wider problem with flow rate.

Plumbing Expertise in Port Charlotte

Titanz Plumbing & Air Conditioning has served Port Charlotte and all Southwest Florida for over 15 years. Our plumbers maintain, repair and install both tank and tankless water heaters. We offer emergency plumbing and water and gas repiping services. Our company also specializes in leak detection, backflow prevention, water filtration and fixture installation. We have HVAC technicians as well. Our HVAC team installs and services all manner of heating, cooling, ventilation and air purification equipment.

Call Titanz Plumbing & Air Conditioning today for expert plumbing solutions!

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