Water Heater Repair: What Are the Signs to Catch It Before It Goes?

December 26, 2016

The last thing anyone needs is the sudden breakdown of a water heater – especially in a busy household. There are tell-tale signs that you can look for, which will let you know if your water heater is in need of a tune up or repair. Knowing these signs could save you a lot of potential headaches or, worse still, cold showers.

Is your Heater past its ‘sell by’ date?

Water heaters are not built to last a lifetime. In fact, a water heater that is over ten years old is generally considered out of commission. If you have a really old heater, you might want to consider having it replaced. At the very least, contact a plumber to have it checked for defects.

Sediment Build-Up

After years of continuous use, sediment will build up in your water heater. When this happens, you will begin to notice noise emanating from the water heater. Although sediment may not cause the water heater to break down completely, it will cause hidden damage leading to increased energy bills and a less efficient system.


Rust in your water is not a good sign, as it usually indicates that there is a problem with the inside of the tank. If your tank is rusting on the inside, you may have to replace the entire system. However, before replacing the water heater, it is important to confirm the source of the rust. The issue may actually be the connecting pipes rather than the water heater. You can eliminate the pipes from the equation by leaving the hot water on to see if the water eventually runs clear. If it doesn’t, the problem is likely with your water heater.

Leaks and Cracks

Leaks in and around your water heater are a sure sign of a problem. However, you need to establish whether the problem is with the water heater or any bridging connections. When the water heater is switched off and cooled down, check the tank for any damage. Once you have checked the tank, inspect each connection to ensure that the fittings are tight and dry.

Standard atmospheric water heaters

Standard atmospheric water heaters require effective ventilation. Without proper ventilation, you may notice scorch marks around the water heater. Although the problem isn’t usually with the water heater itself, you should contact a plumber immediately. Poor ventilation will result in dangerous gases and exhaust leaking back into the building.

You should not attempt to repair a damaged water heater yourself. If you suspect that there is a problem with your water heater, contact Show Plumbing so we can send one of our professional plumbers to check the system. We can perform repairs and replacements using the highest quality parts.

Show Plumbing has over 25 years of experience providing plumbing services in Houston. We will ensure that your hot water is soon flowing again. All our technicians are fully licensed and qualified to deal with every aspect of your home water heater.