Your plumbing is something that’s easy to take for granted—after all most of this system is hidden from view and “out of sight, out of mind,” right? If there is any portion of your plumbing in Des Plaines, IL where this is most true, it’s your water heater. Though tank water heaters are pretty large, they’re usually tucked away in the corner of a garage or behind a door in a storage closet.
So, it’s easy to miss when it needs repair. Unfortunately, neglecting repair needs can lead to a complete water heater failure, and if there’s anything you don’t want to be without this winter—or really any part of the year—it’s hot water, right?
What is it, exactly, that you should watch out for with your water heater? Are there clear signs that a water heater is, in fact, in need of professional repairs? Certainly! Read on.
Listen for Bubbling
This is known as kettling, as the sound is similar to a boiling tea kettle, coming from the tank of your water heater. The cause of this is a sediment layer along the bottom of the water heater tank, which has trapped the water heated by the heat exchanger, which then bubbles up through the sediment layer. Eventually, this sediment can block the heat exchanger and prevent it from doing its job. You’ll need to have the tank professionally flushed before this occurs.
Be Cautious of Rumbling
Rumbling is another noise you want to listen for. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean your water heater is going to explode. But it does mean that what’s likely happening is hot and cold water are mixing at the top of your tank.
This is a common issue with aging water heaters, and is typically due to a broken dip tube. The sound can mean the water is overheating. There are a number of reasons this can happen, but our plumbers can figure it out and help!
Check for Leaking
The only place you should ever see water leaking out of your water heater is at the pressure release valve. If you see water dripping or pooling anywhere else surrounding your water heater, it’s time to call a plumber.
Pay Attention to a Drop in Temperature
Does your hot water not seem like it is hot enough—at least, not as hot as it used to be? We do not recommend tampering with the temperature control (aka the aquastat) on your water heater, because it can lead to suddenly scalding water. We do recommend calling for professional help to find out why the water heater isn’t doing its job as well.
Watch for Discolored Hot Water
Is there a rusty tint to your water? Is it only coming from the hot water taps in your home? This is a sure sign that corrosion or rust are occurring in your hot water line, and you may need repiping. Or, it could be the sign that the water heater itself has succumbed to corrosion, in which case you’re looking at a replacement rather than a repair need.
For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!