Your Water Heater is not something you often think about. The only time you really focus on it is in the event that you have no hot water at all, or it’s time to replace it due to a leak. This is a common experience for any homeowner. It’s easy to forget how thankful we are to have hot water or even clean running water. Currently in many parts of the country for example, there is a severe winter storm that has impacted many states who aren’t used to this type of weather and many people are currently without water.
Old Age Have you ever heard the saying “They don’t make them like they used to?” Typically you hear that when someone is referring to a vehicle. Nowadays that can be true for many things, and one of them would be a Water Heater. They are currently manufactured to typically start decreasing performance significantly to the point of replacement around the time your warranty expires if you were given an 8-10 year warranty. If you have an 8+ year old water heater, it may be time to start planning for replacement. Unless you have done your part to be proactive and follow the recommended manufacturer specifications to maintain the water heater annually by flushing the tank and replacing the sacrificial anode rod when it’s time to replace.
Leaks As you can likely tell, your Water Heater is built to store many gallons of water for it to be constantly heating up ready for you to use. Typically a single-family home has a 50 Gallon Water Heater. When a water heater starts leaking from the bottom, that is typically one the last things you see when it’s time for replacement. Unfortunately due to the amount of water a water heater stores if it leaks from the bottom it is typically beyond repair in order to prevent water damage and additional safety concerns. Look for signs of rust at the bottom of the tank, water waters streaking down the tank from the top of the water supply lines.
Popping & Banging
This is one of the most common signs of a Water Heater that is starting to tell you signs that it needs some TLC. You have probably heard strange noises coming from your garage if that is where your water heater is stored, if it is located in the home you may have even thought you had a poltergeist! But the reason your water heater is likely making loud popping and banging noises is because while it’s heating up the water it is filled with sediment at the bottom due to the lack of maintenance over the years. The reason that water heaters need to be maintained annually is due to the amount of calcium & chemicals our water has and all of that builds up in the tank if not drained properly annually. We always recommend hiring a licensed Plumbing to assist you with so it can be properly done.
Now that we have gone over some of the most common signs of failure your water heater gives, from time to time it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at it and see that it is not leaking, it’s not making these loud noises, and the age of it which they typically have a sticker with the manufacturer date and or installation date. During your Home Inspection we will evaluate many components of the water heater such as missing components that may have not been done correctly if not done by a Licensed contractor. Items such as a drip pan, expansion tank, t & p valve, ball valve etc. If you are looking to sell your home, give me a call to schedule your pre-listing inspection and help you determine items that perhaps could be repaired to not have any surprises during the selling process.