Water heaters are pretty solid systems, and can operate for many years without running into any serious problems. Assuming, of course, that you take proper care of them. Even if you schedule maintenance on a regular basis, though, you still need to keep an eye out for any and all signs that your water heater might be dealing with some sort of problem. The faster you can identify an issue with your water heater, the faster you can have it dealt with and the more potential damage you can prevent. The following are just a few of the different symptoms you might encounter that indicate a problem with the water heater. Make sure that you call for repairs quickly if you notice any of these problems.
A leak of any kind is not something you should ever ignore. Even small leaks can cause a lot of damage to the water heater and surrounding area, depending on the location. A small leak in the storage tank, for example, can eventually grow large enough that it causes the entire thing to rupture. Leaks in valves or circulation pumps can also interfere with the proper operation of the system. Always call a professional to patch a leak as soon as you can.
Low Heating Output
If your water heater seems to be having trouble providing enough hot water for your needs, it might have one of a number of different issues affecting it. It’s possible that you have sediment building up in the storage tank, which is insulating the water inside from the heat being generated by the burner assembly. It’s also possible that the burner assembly itself is clogged, which will prevent the system from generating enough heat to warm the water in the tank. You’re going to need to have a technician check out the system for you to be able to tell for certain. Just as with the other problems on this list, though, the worst thing you could do is ignore the issue.
Sudden Changes in Temperature
If the water coming out of your faucet is rapidly switching back and forth between hot and cold water, you probably have a problem with your dip tube. The dip tube is a PVC tube that runs from the water lien to the bottom of the storage tank. It is meant to ensure that fresh water entering the water heater is directed to the bottom of the tank, where it will warm up faster and be kept separate from the warm water leaving the top of the tank. If the dip tube cracks, it will leak cold water into the warm water leaving the system. The dip tube will need to be replaced to resolve this issue, so make sure you call a professional to take care of it.