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How to Know if Your Water Heater is Working Properly

Posted on AC Maintenance, The Cooler Blog, Water Heater January 15, 2018

Households across America rely on their water heaters for warm water for bathing and showering and washing their hands, dishes, and clothes.  If your water heater fails to function as it should, how would you know?

These common signs indicate your water heater isn’t working properly:

Your Water Isn’t Heating

When your water doesn’t heat, this is the biggest clue that your water heater isn’t doing its job right. The problem may be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or faulty pilot light, or your entire water heater may need replacing. These units typically last between 10 and 15 years, so if you’ve had yours a decade or more, its failure is likely.

Your Water Tank is Leaking

Water leaks around your water tank are never a good sign. Leaks may result from or later cause internal problems with your water heater. Leaky water tanks usually need replacing.

Rust on your water tank’s surface is often a precursor to a leaking tank. Getting your water tank serviced regularly can help prevent rust build-up. Your service professional should change your water heater’s anode rod every few years to prevent corrosion.

Your Water Heater Makes Strange Noises

You’ve probably noticed your water heater making hissing and low popping sound as the water heats up. However, very loud cracking and popping noises, similar to the sound of popcorn popping, are likely caused by sediment in your water heater. You’ll hear the pop every time a steam bubble from your water heater rises up from the sediment layer. When there’s sediment in your water heater, it must work harder to heat your water. It’ll need to run longer to get the right result and could overheat. A plumber or water heater service professional can flush your water heater and remove the sediment.

Banging noises may also indicate a water heater problem. You’re likely to hear these noises when your water heater’s valves shut. A plumber or service professional can inspect your water heater and replace or clear the valves if necessary.

Your Water Doesn’t Look or Taste Good

When you turn on the faucet, you expect to see clear, refreshing water. However, if your water doesn’t look or taste right, a faulty water heater may be to blame. Before a water heater fails, water may look rusty or cloudy. Your water may look rusty if your water heater’s anode rod has dissolved. Excess calcium or magnesium in the tank can make the water look cloudy. These minerals can interfere with the water heater’s efficiency. The kind of sediment that causes the loud popping noises can also appear in your water. The water may have a metallic taste.

Report your concerns to a service technician as soon as possible, as the longer a problem remains unresolved, the more damage it can cause.

Some modern air conditioners connect to hot water tanks to function as water heaters. If your old water heater needs replacing, call the experts at All Year Cooling at 888-204-5554 to learn more about one of these modern air conditioner units.

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