As a homeowner, a hot water heater exploding is one of the more frightening things that can happen inside your home. Fortunately, that scenario is rare as modern water heaters are designed to ensure those levels of pressure are never reached. However, a broken water heater can still cause quite a bit of damage if not addressed.
Combustions aside, a leaky hot water tank can cause water-damaged flooring or sub-flooring (dry rot), mold, and other damage depending on its location. If the water isn’t heating or appears brownish in color, or you’re hearing odd noises from your water heater, it’s probably time to do a little investigating or bring in an expert to look at these water heater problems.
Signs of a broken water heater
Even if you’re not a plumbing expert, there are a few things you can look for to gauge the health of your water heater. Whether electric or gas-powered, if you experience some of these problems, it may be time to repair or replace the unit:
- Water spilling from the water heater
- No hot water coming from taps
- The water heater is making strange noises
- The water heater is leaking
- Brown or rusty water
- Water not being heated correctly
Water spilling from the water heater
If you see water spilling from your water heater, it’s important to shut off the power to the unit immediately. This is usually done by flipping a switch on the circuit breaker panel. Once the power is off, you’ll need to identify the source of the leak and repair it before turning the power back on and restarting the unit.
No hot water coming from the taps
If you suddenly lose all hot water, there are a few possible causes. First, check to see if the power is still on to the unit. If not, flip the switch on the circuit breaker panel back to the “on” position. Next, check to see if there’s a problem with the water supply to the unit–if there is, you’ll need to call a plumber.
Finally, if neither of those two things is the problem, it’s possible that the unit itself has failed and will need to be replaced. You can do this yourself, but you’ll need to secure a permit before installing a new water heater. Make sure the circuit is off and you turn off the water intake valve.
It is making strange noises
If your water heater starts making strange noises, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with the unit. The most common cause of this problem is sediment build-up in the bottom of the tank. When this happens, it can cause the heating elements to overheat and break down. The best way to fix this problem is to have the unit professionally cleaned or serviced.
The water heater is leaking
A leaking water heater is a serious problem that needs to be fixed immediately. The most common cause of this problem is a broken pressure relief valve. This valve is designed to release water from the tank if the pressure gets too high. If it’s not working properly, it can cause water to leak from the unit.
Another possible cause of a leak is a crack in the tank itself. If you see any leaks, shut off the power to the unit and call a plumber for immediate hot water heater repair or replacement. You never want any of your appliances working harder than they have to, especially water heaters.
The water heater isn’t heating up the water properly
There are several possible reasons why your water heater isn’t heating up the water properly. First, check to see if the power is still on the unit. If not, flip the switch on the circuit breaker panel back to the “on” position. Next, check the thermostat to see if it’s set to the correct temperature.
If it is, and the water still isn’t getting hot enough, it’s possible that the heating elements are damaged and will need to be replaced. Finally, if the unit is still not heating the water properly, it may need to be replaced entirely.
If you’re having any problems with your water heater, it’s important to call a plumber or water heater technician right away. These are just a few of the most common problems that can occur, but there are many others that can cause serious damage to your home if they’re not fixed in a timely manner.
Have Signs of a Broken Water Heater? Call in the Experts!
Although an exploding water heater is a pretty rare occurrence, there’s no reason to become a statistic! If you’re worried about your appliance, Meticulous Plumbing is your Portland water heater replacement and repair expert. We can replace your existing water heater, install an energy-efficient tankless water heater, or make recommendations on other options.
Our customer service is second to none and we provide free estimates on all water heater repairs and installations and we’ll even take away your old unit. So if your shower, bath, or kitchen sink is giving you nothing but cold water, give Meticulous Plumbing a call and we’ll get the hot water flowing again.