If you have an older water heater, you may have noticed that it does not seem to be heating your water like it once did. If so, look for the following signs that something is wrong with the water heater that may make repairs necessary.
Water Tastes Funny
Besides noticing that your water is no longer getting as hot as it used to, another sign that your water heater is in need of professional attention is when the water starts tasting funny. It may have a metallic flavor, and it may even start taking on a brownish tinge.
If your water tastes strange, there may be rust or sediment built up inside the tank. These particles can not long change the flavor of your water, but they may gum up the tank and pipes. This gunk could eventually corrode the interior of the water heater, as well as the pipes that are connected to it.
Loud Popping Noises Are Heard
While it is not unusual to hear low gurgling sounds while it is heating the water, you may have noticed some loud popping noises whenever it is on. These sounds are not normal, and they could be caused by one of two problems.
First, if sediment has built up inside the tank, the heat from the water may release the trapped air inside the mineral deposits. When this air is released, it can make a sound resembling the noise popcorn makes when it is cooking.
Second, if the heating element is going out, it may sometimes overheat the water intermittently. Because the water becomes extremely hot then becomes cooler, the changes in temperature can cause the tank to constrict then expand. This can then put pressure on the tank, increasing the likelihood that it could develop small cracks which may start leaking.
Water Temperature Fluctuates
While you may think that the water temperature coming from a failing water heater will always be cool, this is not necessarily the case. If the heating element is going out, the temperatures inside the tank will be uneven.
As a result, the water coming out of your faucets may feel cool one second, followed by extremely hot water. Eventually, however, the element may fail, leaving you with only cold water.
If your hot water heater is exhibiting any of the above signs, it may be in danger of breaking down at any time. Contact a company that offers water heater repair services to schedule an appointment to have them find and fix the problem.