Is your hot water heater a giant time bomb in your house? Should your hot water heater burst, it will pump hundreds of gallons of water into your house very quickly. These disasters cause significant property damage and the loss of priceless possessions each year in homes.
There are some signs to watch for that your hot water heater needs some maintenance immediately, or is on its last leg and you need to plan a replacement fast. Know the warning signs:
The pressure relief valve is the number one safety feature on your heater. It’s usually located at the top of heater, on the side. When the pressure inside the tank reaches high levels, it opens, letting out water and lowering the pressure inside. Build up of rust, sediment or corrosion over time can block this valve from working properly. If the valve is leaking, it means there is too much heat or pressure inside the tank, a major warning sign of impending disaster.
The smell of sulfur, commonly described as smelling like rotten eggs, near the water heater could indicate a gas leak.
If your hot water looks murky or there is a metallic smell (or taste) to it, you have signs of a failing hot water heater. When contaminants and deposits build up and travel into your water supply, your water will become cloudy and/or discolored. A metallic odor or taste is often associated with these deposits. These sediments can clog faucets and plumbing valves, reduce water flow, and cause other plumbing failures.
If your water heater keeps making a popping, knocking or other strange noises, it could be signs of failure. Usually this is caused by mineral buildup or hard water.
If you see any pooling water around or beneath your tank, corrosion has caused cracks in the tank or your valve has a serious leak. Any sign of leaks from your tank calls for immediate action and replacement of the water heater.
A leaking, smelly or noisy hot water heater means trouble. If it bursts, it can flood your entire home in a matter of hours causing water damage that far exceeds the cost of a replacement unit!