The presence of water heater problems can either be subtle or less subtle—there’s no in-between. The problems either don’t show as much unless they get worse, or you directly suffer from less than ideal colors of water, leaks, and cold, cold water.
Whatever the case may be, time is of the essence. As soon as you detect a water heater problem, acting fast is crucial. Unfortunately, such rules allow for a huge room for error, such as misdiagnosing problems. Unfortunately, not all your water issues point to a broken water heater. In more ways than one, the symptoms are problems beyond your heating device.
Here are the four most common water heater issues and how to properly address them—again, they’re not because of a broken heater!
Problem #1: Cold, cold water
This is a common and recurring problem, which homeowners usually notice during a shower. As you run the water, you’ll notice it is slowly cooling down. In many cases, the hot faucet may not work, or the presence of hot water only runs for a short period. Your good old hot water comes back after an hour or two, which may be unusual.
While pointing fingers at your water heater may seem plausible, the only culprit could be your thermostat. It isn’t broken by any means—you just have to adjust it! If that doesn’t work, it may need repairs, but deeming your water heater broken shouldn’t necessarily be the case!
Problem #2: Discolored water
Discolored water can be unsightly, as it comes with that odd rusty smell you wouldn’t want to be exposed to. It could look orange, sometimes bordering brown. In worst cases, the water can look green and even yellow, which can feel either grimy or slimy. While the problem may seem daunting, your water heater isn’t to blame—it’s the water tank or pipes you need to check.
Discoloration usually happens due to sediment build-up, which accumulates on the inside of your water heater’s walls. Once sediment builds up, discolored water comes out of your faucets. It’s best to call on the experts to have it cleaned, as it can rust the walls of your tank beyond repair.
Problem #3: Leaks
Leaks are another issue homeowners usually face, which usually results in the presence of water near the heater or directly under it. While you’ll naturally assume that it’s due to a water heater malfunction, a leaky faucet or pipe may be the culprit.
Water can travel through the tiniest of spaces, so a simple hole in your pipes or faucet could have caused the pool of water. Your home’s foundation may also be compromised, as water tends to leak out of walls. Before ruling your water heater as a broken system, have professionals look around your home to discover the leak source.
The Bottom Line
Proper diagnosis of your water heater issues is crucial. People often call plumbers in a state of panic, asking for a water heater replacement. In most cases, replacing the water heater does not solve the problems. Sometimes your water heater just needs cleaning and tweaking, and in other cases, the symptoms are caused by an entirely different problem.
Water heater problems are crucial and need to be dealt with accordingly, but they’re not the end of the world. Never skip out on investigating a problem and be as proactive as you possibly can. If you look beyond your water heater, you’ll be saving much of your time, money, and even emotional health.
If you’re in need of help, know that experts are ready to assist you. If you’d like to know more about the plumbing services in Charlotte, NC, browse through our plumbing materials. It’s never too late to learn more!