How Do I Know If My Hot Water Heater Is Broken?

How Do I Know If My Hot Water Heater Is Broken?

Look for these signs that your hot water heater needs to be repaired or replaced
Read Time: 2.5 minutes
Jan 29, 2022

Having a working hot water heater is important, especially in the winter. No one likes to take cold showers or wash their hands in cold water, particularly when it’s colder outside. Fortunately, there are some things that you can keep an eye out for that can indicate whether your hot water heater is broken. If it is, then it’s time to call a professional in to either repair or replace your hot water heater so that you can be sure to have all the hot water that you need.

You Don’t Have Enough Hot Water

Ideally, your hot water heater should produce enough hot water to do everything that you need to throughout the day. You should be able to take a shower and do the dishes without worrying about running out of hot water. Depending on the number of people living in your residence, it’s possible that even a functioning hot water heater may need some time to heat up more water. But if you’re consistently running out of hot water, then your hot water heater may be broken. A good first step is to check the temperature dial on the heater to make sure it’s set high enough.

The Hot Water Heater is Leaking

Leaking water heaters

If you see water leaking out of your hot water heater, that is a sign your hot water heater has a serious problem. A water leak from a hot water heater may appear as a water drip from the unit or as water pooling around the base of the unit on the floor. Any water that you see outside of the unit is a sign of a problem with the hot water heater. This could be a sign of a serious failure inside the heater. Before taking any steps to troubleshoot the problem, make sure that the hot water heater is turned off and disconnected from the gas or electricity. It’s also a good idea to call in a professional to look at it.

The Water Temperature Isn’t Steady

Water temperature does vary depending on how hot you turn the tap or the shower. But once you have set the temperature, it should remain steady. If it’s too hot and then suddenly too cold, that’s a sign that your hot water heater isn’t working properly.

The Water Is Discolored or Has a Bad Smell

Water should be colorless and odorless. If it isn’t either, then that’s a bad sign. Discolored water or water with a bad odor is an indicator that there’s rust or bacteria inside the water tank of the hot water heater. This means that the anode rod, which is meant to remove bacteria and rust from the hot water heater, isn’t working.

The Hot Water Heater Is Making Noise

While some amount of noise from a hot water heater is normal as it works to heat up your water, there are some noises to be on the lookout for. If you hear popping, crackling, banging, whining, gurgling, or boiling noises, then it’s a sign that something is broken in the hot water heater.

The Water Pressure Is Reduced

Low water pressure sink

If you’ve noticed that the water pressure or water flow coming out of your hot water heater is lower than it used to be, that’s a sign of a problem with your hot water heater. It’s usually an indication that there’s a buildup of scale or other sediments within the plumbing or in the hot water heater itself. This is a problem that will only worsen over time, so it’s important to address it quickly once you notice it.

Your Hot Water Heater Is Old

The older the hot water heater is, the more likely it is to have developed a problem that needs to be addressed. If you do have a very old hot water heater, pay attention for other signs that it’s broken.

Hot Water Heater Leaking?

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