How To Spot When It's Time For Water Heater Repairs

19 October 2018
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


Dealing with water heater repair issues before a situation gets really out of hand may help you save a lot of money, but it also can be challenging to figure out when a system might need to be fixed. Some signs are obvious, such as lukewarm or cold water coming out of the tap, but others may not be so simple to spot. Pay attention to these indicators of trouble, and you may be able to get a jump on any problems your unit is experiencing.

Loud Noises

When a system is struggling to keep up, one of the earliest signs of trouble is a clanking or thumping noise. The noise may come from the tank, but it might also originate from the pipes. What's going on? As sediments build up inside a tank, it may take additional pressure for a flow of hot water to get going. The noise is often the product of pressure building up and then releasing, leading to a kick when it lets out.


A water heater that's functioning inefficiently or is about to fail may end up delivering weird odors. The first order of business is to determine if the problem is just the hot water supply, and you can do this by running only the hot water for a couple of minutes and seeing whether the odor stays or goes away. The most likely cause is the build-up of hydrogen sulfide gas which can cause a light smell similar to sewage or rotten eggs. Odd smells are more likely to originate in the hot water tank because the presence of warmth can promote bacteria growth if a system is failing.

In some cases, the solution may be as simple as introducing an additive to the water. You should, however, still have a hot water repair technician visit your place and make sure that's an appropriate solution.

Discolored Water

Discolored water can appear in hot water lines for a variety of reasons, including rusting in the tank, the presence of anaerobic bacteria or even the presence of older lead water lines. Sediments from minerals that naturally exist in the water may also be accumulating in the tank. If you're seeing signs of rust on the outside of the tank, you're likely dealing with leakage, and any compromise needs to be addressed quickly before the leak turns into a full-on failure of the tank.