Signs of a Bad Water Heater

Tech Checking Water Heater for residential plumbing

You probably don’t fully appreciate your water heater for the comfort it adds to your life. That is until it begins to fail. Cold showers are an unpalatable option for almost everyone, and without a water heater, you’ll have trouble washing clothes and dishes and keeping the peace among family members. While a quality water heater can easily last a decade or more, there will come a time when you’ll have to call a provider of residential plumbing service in Gainesville, GA, to replace your old appliance with a new one.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as water heaters today are more efficient than they’ve ever been. There have also been advances in technology and design that allow for tankless water heaters, as well as hybrid water heaters that offer the best of both worlds to homeowners. However, if you think your water heater has reached its final days, it’s better to call a plumbing contractor to install a new one than be rudely surprised by a leaking tank or lack of hot water when you least expect it. Keep reading to learn a few signs that your water heater has gone bad.

Not Enough Hot Water

If you find yourself consistently running out of hot water before the end of a shower of reasonable length, that could be a sign that your water heater is rapidly diminishing. As a water heater ages, it becomes less efficient at heating water in the tank. Minerals in the water separate when heated, and when they do, those precipitates fall to the bottom of the tank, where they collect over time. As that layer of mineral deposit forms, it creates an insulating barrier between the heating element or burner in your water heater and the water in the tank. Since there’s no realistic way to clean the tank, your only viable option is to replace the unit.

Cloudy Hot Water

Sometimes, when a water heater is beginning to show its age, you’ll notice that the water from the hot tap isn’t as clear as the water that flows from the cold tap. Again, that dynamic is the product of minerals in the water tank. Though the minerals usually collect at the bottom as deposits, some of that mineral content can suspend in the water and come out through your tap. Often, the cloudiness is accompanied by a strange metallic odor.

Strange Noises

Aside from an occasional sound, your water heater should quietly blend into the background without much fanfare or noise. If your water heater bumps, bangs, or pops, that’s a sign that replacement may be right around the corner. Once again, the noises are an offshoot of the mineral deposits commonly found in the tank. Because the water heater can’t efficiently heat the water due to deposits, the burner stays on longer, and the appliance is exposed to excess heating. That can make the metal used in its construction expand and contract, which will result in disconcerting noises and eventual metal fatigue.


If your water heater is leaking, replacement is imminent. Your water heater is a simple appliance, as it involves a burner or heating element, a thermostat that controls the water temperature in the tank, a tank that holds the water, and the internal plumbing that supplies it. The tank can develop leaks over time, especially when the water heater must work harder to warm water and excess heat causes metal fatigue. The tank isn’t the only source of leaks, however, as connections can also rust and begin to leak once the anode in the system is depleted and corrosion takes over.

Water Heater as part of residential plumbing services Gainesville ga

Your water heater is a key component in your residential plumbing in Gainesville, GA. If you experience any of these signs of a failing water heater, call a plumbing service immediately to avoid costly and inconvenient unscheduled water heater replacement. To learn more about signs that your water heater is failing, contact Gainesville Mechanical at (770) 532-9130.

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