If your home's water heater is old, the constant exposure to water has probably resulted in mineral deposits on the interior surface of the tank. After a while, this sediment can corrode your pipes and cause the tank to rust. This sediment can also make its way into your drinking water. Look for the following signs that your water heater has sediment built up inside the tank.
Water Has a Metallic Taste to It
One of the first signs you may notice when sediment has started to build up and cake your tank is the taste of your water. You will notice that it gradually starts to take on a metallic taste.
When your water heater's tank has an accumulation of mineral deposits, the constant heat of the unit will eventually soften the sediment. As a result, small amounts of sediment will bleed out into the water, making it taste like metal. Not only will it give your drinking water a nasty flavor, but it will make anything you cook in water take on the taste.
Water Has Become Discolored
As the sediment continues to flake off and infiltrate the water, the once clear liquid will start to change colors. In the beginning, your water may have a slight beige tinge to it. However, as more of the minerals break off, it may become a light brown. You may even notice what appears to be sand at the bottom of your glass.
However, discolored water can also be a sign that your home's main pipe has a crack in it allowing the soil to contaminate the water. Have a plumber inspect your pipes and the water heater to make sure.
Popping Noises Are Heard from the Tank
Along with changes in your tap water, you may also start hearing loud popping noises coming from the heater's tank whenever it is heating water. These sounds occur when the heat from the water comes into contact with the mineral deposits.
As the unit is working, the heat expands the deposits. When the expansion causes pieces to flake off, the popping sound is made as it breaks free or when tiny air bubbles underneath the sediment are released.
If you notice any of the signs above, your hot water heater most likely has a lot of sediment built up inside the tank that is probably corroding the metal and your pipes. You may want to contact a plumber who offers water heater installation services to discuss your options for replacing it before it rusts through and starts to leak.