When your home has an old hot water heater, you may be concerned that it could suddenly break down at any moment due to its age. If so, be on the lookout for the following warning signs that the unit has issues that need to be addressed by a professional before the water heater fails completely.
1. Water Pools or Stains Around the Base of the Water Heater
One warning sign that there is a serious problem with your water heater is when you start noticing water pools around the base of the unit. You may also see staining on the floor and walls around the unit, especially if there is a small leak or if the water is slowly dripping.
When you find evidence of water leaking, there could be a crack in the tank or an issue with the valve, such as a broken stem or faulty gasket. Or the issue could also be with the plumbing that attaches to the water heater. No matter the cause of the water leak, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible by a plumbing professional. The leak will only get worse, causing water damage to your home's structures.
2. Water Is Discolored and/or Has a Metallic Taste and Odor
Another sign that your home's water heater needs repairs can be a little more subtle, especially in the early phases of the problem. Your hot water may come out discolored, and/or it may start taking on a metallic flavor and odor.
When water is heated, the minerals often separate out of the liquid and settle on the bottom and interior walls of the heater's tank. Since both the minerals and water can be corrosive to the metal, the tank may start to rust. As the rust worsens, it will start contaminating the hot water coming out of the tap. As soon as you notice these changes to your water, contact a professional to see if the water heater can be flushed or if the tank needs to be replaced
If you suspect that your appliance is leaking water or has rust inside of the tank, you should have a professional take a look at it as soon as possible to keep from having the surrounding structures suffer water damage and/or having the unit fail completely, leaving you without hot water. Contact a plumber who offers water heater repair services to schedule a time for them to inspect the appliance and take any necessary actions to fix it.