We Ottawa residents depend on our water heaters to give us a steady supply of hot water day after day. And usually, that’s what happens. But even the most reliable household appliance can develop issues sometimes.
When your hot water heater is not working correctly, it will signal loud and clear that there’s a problem. You have to interpret what the heater is trying to tell you.
1. Water Leaking
Water leaking from your water heater tends to look very dramatic, even scary. However, that perception is not always accurate. It all depends on the source of the leak. For example, two water leak problems are actually very simple to fix — a leaky drain valve that just needs to be closed entirely or leaky water inlets and outlets that have to be tightened. You may even notice that your water heater keeps turning off.
On the other hand, leakage from the bottom of the tank probably means that your water heater has rusted from the inside out. By the time corrosion has gotten to this stage, repair is impossible, and it’s time to find a replacement hot water heater. The good news? Today’s water heaters, tank-style or the new tankless types, are more energy-efficient than ever.
2. Smelly Water
Water is not supposed to have a colour, taste, or odour. That’s part of the beauty of the fresh, clean water that generally flows from your faucet. Occasionally, though, your tap water will smell like sulphur, with a distinctive rotten egg aroma. If the problem affects only the hot water, it is most likely stemming from your water heater. Why? When you leave water for a long time in the tank without using it, sulphate bacteria will grow in the hot water heater, infusing it with their distinctive scent. Once this happens, it will be extremely difficult to get rid of the smell. Water heater replacement is likely to be the most cost-effective solution possible.
3. Rusty Water
Similar to smelly water, brownish rusty water has that “ick” factor, indicating that your water heater is not working right. Check that the rusty discolouration is only related to the hot water. (Rusty water from both hot and cold faucets means trouble with your plumbing pipes.) If so, this is a sign of rust inside your water heater. Some of the rust dissolves in the water before reaching your faucet. Rust inside the body of the hot water heater is always a bad sign, this indicates that your tank is failing and you will need a new one soon.
4. Water Heater Making Loud Noises
Water heaters often make a whole symphony of loud noises. Popping indicates that a thick crust of mineral sediment has accumulated inside the heater; a skilled professional may remove it by flushing the heater interior and, for an electric heater, cleaning the burner. Sizzling usually means that your water heater is leaking badly and probably cannot be repaired.
On the other hand, banging, ticking, humming, and even screeching sounds are not actually originating in the hot water tank itself. They are signs of other issues that need plumbing repair or adjustment.
5. Water Too Hot
The old saying “You can’t have too much of a good thing” doesn’t quite hold true in this case. Water that is way too hot — especially when the temperature increase occurs suddenly — means your water heater is not working the way it should. If your water heater thermostat is functional and your T & P valve isn’t blocked, this problem is probably due to mineral buildup, which has reached the point of causing the element to overheat. Have the tank flushed ASAP before it develops a leak.
6. Not Heating Up
Besides overly hot water, there’s the opposite problem — water that never heats past a decidedly “blah” lukewarm stage. Funnily enough, a couple of potential reasons are the same as for water that’s too hot — mineral sediment or a broken thermostat. You also could be facing a couple of other possibilities, such as a broken dip tube or a damaged immersion heater. Call a hot water specialist for professional water heater repair.
Meet The Ottawa Water Heater Specialists
You know you can count on Hot Water Ottawa for all your water heater needs. We are water heater specialists with the skills and knowledge you’re looking for. Whether you need water heater repair or you’re shopping for a new water heater, talk to us today!