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Prevent a Hot Water Emergency During the Colder Months

Watch for Signs the Water Heater is About to Fail

As the days get colder, the importance of hot water on demand becomes amplified. While hot water is essential for any home, no matter the time of year, winter is when the water heater has to work hardest. Thanks to colder ambient temperatures, a water heater takes more time and energy to get the water up to temperature. 

As a result, this is when people often experience water heater issues. So it’s important to know the signs of a failing water heater as winter descends so homeowners can call a qualified plumber for repairs before it gets worse. 

Temperature Fluctuationsshower

Water temperature fluctuations can be frustrating — especially when it’s cold outside. It can be a rude awakening when a hot shower suddenly turns cold. Unfortunately, there are many possible causes for these fluctuations. Small pipes or a small water heater can cause this, but if the household hasn’t been experiencing fluctuations already, these aren’t likely causes. More likely, it’s a faulty valve or a problem with the heating elements. 

Pressure-balancing valves are designed to balance the water in the system as changes happen in the plumbing. When one person is showering, and another flushes a toilet, a faulty pressure-balancing valve can cause fluctuations in the shower — either hot or freezing. 


Minor or Major Leaks

Another common problem for water heater tanks is leaks. These can be major or minor, and they can be caused by several factors, not all of them warranting water heater replacement or significant repair. Small leaks are often found around connections, such as the drain valve or inlet/outlet connections. These are generally easy for water heater technicians to fix, but they could also indicate an aging water heater. 

Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine where a leak is coming from without the help of a plumber. If there’s a crack somewhere in the tank, it won’t likely be visible from the outside. And these kinds of cracks in the tank most often require water heater replacement rather than repair because they are usually caused by corrosion

Age and Wear and Tear

Aside from water temperature fluctuations and leaks, there are other indications that a water heater is on its last legs. Most of these indications have to do with wear and tear. Like all household appliances, water heaters don’t last forever. When a water heater reaches ten years old, it’s likely time for a new one. A water heater may also need to be repaired or replaced due to normal wear and tear. More signs of a faulty water heater that needs service include: 

  • Strange noises from the water heater 
  • Rusty or discolored water coming from faucets when using hot water 
  • Sudden and persistent temperature loss 
  • The water heater requires frequent repairs

Consulting a professional plumbing company can help homeowners make the best decision on whether to replace or repair their old water heater. Tankless water heaters have become increasingly efficient, but tankless systems aren’t suitable for every household. This is why consulting a qualified technician can help homeowners make an informed decision on their next water heater!

About Marc Francis Plumbing

Marc Francis Plumbing has served Johnson City, TN, and the surrounding neighborhoods for over five years. They provide 24/7 live answers, fast turnarounds, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They also offer a VIP membership plan with member-only benefits. Call them today for water heater repair and installation services in Johnson City, TN.