Water heaters are pretty sturdy systems, but even they can develop issues from time to time. Hopefully, you’ve been scheduling preventive maintenance services on a regular basis to ensure that your system stays in good shape. Whether you do or not, though, you need to keep an eye out for any signs that the system is malfunctioning. The following are a few common water heater issues and their symptoms.
It can be difficult to identify leaks in the water heater without directly witnessing them in action. That being said, even a small leak can cause quite a bit of damage over time if left alone long enough. Make sure that you call for repairs if you notice leaks of any kind in your water heater system.
In homes with hard water issues, sediment buildup is a common problem for the water heater. Even in homes without hard water, this is still something that can happen on occasion. The more sediment builds up on the bottom of the water heater tank, the more the water in the tank becomes insulated from the heat the system generates. This will cause the water heater output from the system to drop. Having the tank professionally cleaned out on a regular basis should prevent this from happening, though if the sediment buildup is severe enough you may have to have the system manually scraped out.
Cracked Dip Tube
The dip tube is the part of the system that is responsible for transporting new water from the water line to the bottom of the tank. It’s usually made of PVC, which means it’s more susceptible to cracking and breaking than other parts of the system. If the dip tube cracks or breaks, it will begin to leak cold water into the warm water leaving the tank. This will cause sudden temperature shifts in the water coming out of the faucet. You’ll need to have the dip tube replaced if it turns out to be broken.
Failure to Start
Water heaters that rely on natural gas need ignition devices in the same way that gas furnaces do. If your water heater is failing to start when it’s supposed to, it might be that the ignition system is malfunctioning. If your system uses a standing pilot light, you can check for yourself to see if it’s still burning, and try to relight it if not. Otherwise, you’re probably going to need to have a professional check for you to see if the ignition system is working or not.
When it comes to water heater problems, time is of the essence. Even if you’re not entirely sure of the nature of your water heater issue, you should still call for repairs if you think that you have one. You may end up saving yourself thousands in repair costs if you act quickly enough.