Your home's water heater is one of the appliances within your home that sees the most usage, as you use hot water to clean everything from your clothes and dishes to yourself. This constant usage can eventually take a toll on the condition of your water heater, making it less efficient and effective over time. Understanding some of the warning signs associated with a water heater that has begun to fail can help you figure out when you need to contact a plumber to have your unit replaced before it fails completely.
Any easy to notice sign associated with a failing or aging water heater is if you notice that the water coming out of your showerheads and taps is discolored. A darkly colored supply of hot water can point to a buildup of rust or sediment within your water heater's tank. Rust is a serious issue that will slowly eat away at the body of the tank, making a leak and resulting water damage more likely over time. Sediment, on the other hand, will slowly adhere to the sides of the tank and reduce the overall capacity of your water heater, while also forcing it to work harder to heat a smaller amount of water. In either case, these dissolved minerals in your water supply should not be drunk, and you should have your water heater examined straight away.
Another clear indication that you need to replace your water heater as soon as possible is if you notice that there are any signs of standing water or previous water damage around your water heater's tank. This points to a leak in the tank, either due to the development of rust, as previously discussed or because of some sort of mechanical issue with your water heater.
Finally, another sign that your water heater needs to be replaced that is hard to miss is if you notice loud and irregular noises coming from the unit when you turn on a hot water faucet or appliance elsewhere in your home. Loud banging, creaking, or squealing can point to structural damage to the tank or the attached plumbing, or even to a mechanical malfunction of the heating element or another component within the tank. In either case, you should have a plumber inspect your unit to determine if you need to replace the entire water heater or if an individual piece can be repaired instead.
Contact a company like Midwestern Plumbing Service for more information and assistance.