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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Watch Out for These Signs You Have Faulty Water Heater


The same way you don’t want your furnace to fail on you during the winter months, you want your water heater to stay in top shape and keep the hot water flowing. But the water heater has a problem the furnace doesn’t: it runs all year, not only during winter, and so it can rack up repair troubles at any time. 

The sooner you notice something wrong with your water heater, the better. When you call us for timely water heater repair in Delaware, we can have the problem solved before it gets any worse, leading to a possible full failure or other troubles like water leaks. To help you spot water heater malfunctions early, we’ve put together a list of the common warning signs of trouble.

Temperature fluctuations

On occasion, you’ll notice a drop or rise in the temperature of the hot water coming from a showerhead or a faucet. It’s normal for this to happen from time to time. When it starts to become a regular occurrence, you’ll want to have technicians examine the water heater to see what’s causing these temperature swings.

Lower water temperature

Are you just not getting water as warm as you want? You can first check the aquastat on the water heater to see if someone has accidentally lowered it (it shouldn’t be lower than 120°F or higher than 140°F). If this isn’t the case, there could be several problems affecting the water heater’s ability to transfer heat into the tank, such as sediment build-up or gas flow problems. You’ll need professionals to find the source of the trouble.

Reduced hot water volume

The water is the right temperature … it just runs out much earlier than it once did. This is something you’ll notice if people in your household start complaining about going with lukewarm showers because they were the last ones up in the morning. This may be a repair issue, but it’s often an indication of a water heater that’s getting too old and may need a replacement.

Discoloration or black flecks in the hot water

When you turn on the hot water tap, you see reddish discoloration or black flakes in the water. Check first to make sure this is only occurring in the hot water taps (otherwise it may indicate trouble with the plumbing elsewhere). If it’s only in the hot water, the tank probably needs to be flushed. In extreme cases, it could mean the tank has rusted through and needs to be replaced. 

Visible leaks

You should only see water dripping from the pressure relief valve on the water heater. If water starts pooling anywhere else, it’s a major warning you need to call technicians right away to find the source of the leaks.

Rising heating costs

The water heater accounts for a significant portion of your heating costs, even during winter, so when you see a spike in your heating bills, the water heater may be at fault.

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., “We Take Pride in Your Comfort!” Call us 24/7 for service.

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