What’s Up with my Water Heater?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Winter and water heaters. Two things you just can’t avoid. In Northern Virginia, we went from summer to a short fall to essentially and early winter very quickly. In October we were waking up to temperatures in the high 30’s!

In the midst of winter weather, the last thing you want is to be without heat or hot water. Here are some common water heater related scenarios we see at Marines Plumbing.

Recently, during showers and baths, I’ll have hot water for a few minutes and then all of a sudden it gets cold.

If you experience a shortage of hot water, more than likely your hot water heater is on the fritz. Not working efficiently is one of the first signs that there is either a disconnect in the appliance or its past its prime.

Another potential issue is that you have the wrong size water heater. If you are relying on a small water heater to heat a large house, you will never have enough hot water. Make sure you have the right size appliance for your space.

I have literally NO hot water. Anywhere. Showers, sinks, tub.

Well, this is obviously a huge issue. First and foremost, make sure that your hot water heater is plugged in and has power. As silly as that may seem, it is possible for the power to get knocked out to your water heater. Make sure there are no tripped breakers. If it does have power, but still doesn’t have any hot water, you most likely need to replace a heating element.

The last time I took a shower, it was way too hot!

Just like a lack of hot water is a serious issue, so is water that is too hot. Especially if you have young kids. Make sure the temperature on your hot water heater is not set too high. The ideal temperature should be between 115-125 degrees.

These are just a handful of some of the issues that you can experience with your hot water heater. If you are currently experiencing any of these, contact Marines Plumbing today!

Here are three more scenarios you may experience:

The water coming out of faucets looks and smells weird. What’s going on?

No doubt it is very disconcerting when the water that comes out of your faucet has any tint it. If there is a yellow, red, or brown tint, there may be corrosion inside the water heater tank or your pipes.

If your water smells like eggs, you probably have bacteria within your hot water heater tank. Typically, replacing the anode rod within the tank resolves this.

The last time I checked in my utility closet, it looked like there was some water collected near my hot water heater.

Any time you see water near an appliance, do not delay in calling a professional! These are not things you want to take lightly. Water leaks can be very damaging to homes, so you want to get them checked out immediately.

Some water leaks are caused by a leaking valve or plumbing connection. In these cases, we will need to check all the valves and pipes.

In other cases, it could be the tank. If the leak is coming from the tank, we will need to check for loose elements or tank corrosion. Unfortunately, if the tank is corroded, it will need to be replaced.

My water heater has been making lots of weird sounds lately any time we take a shower or wash clothes.

If the noises are rumbling or popping, it sounds like you are hearing boiling water. Sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank can cause the tank to overheat, thus the boiling water. Call a professional to see if the tank can be drained and cleaned. If it can’t, it may be time for a new tank or a new water heater.

While these scenarios are all very common, they are certainly things you don’t want to be dealing with in the midst of a cold winter. At the first sign of any issues with your water heater call Marines Plumbing for an evaluation!

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Winter plumbing prep