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Signs Your Hot Water Heater Is Falling Apart

The water heater is one of the most useful household equipment in your home. When temperatures plummet, your water heater works around the clock to heat water. When it gets colder, the last thing you want is a malfunctioning water heater.

Unfortunately, like all other household equipment, water heaters can break down anytime. Water heaters usually do not go out overnight. So how do you know your water heater requires immediate attention? Watch out for these signs and take necessary action to avoid untimely breakdown.

Unusual Noises 

If you hear popping, hissing, banging, or knocking voices from your water heater, sediment could have built up in the tank. Another common cause of unusual noises is scale build-up on the heating elements.

Over time, as the sediment is heated and reheated, it hardens. This hardening wastes energy and reduces the water heater’s efficiency. Before things can go from bad to worse and you end up with expensive repairs, have a water heater repair expert near you take a look at your water heater.


Water heater leaks can be devastating. A leak could damage your utility closet or basement. From sediment collection to a cracked storage tank, there are many reasons why water heaters develop leaks.

If you notice a leak developing on the top of your water heater, the inlet or hot outlet pipes may be loose. Alternatively, your inlet valve could be leaking or the T & P pipe may have failed.

If your heater is leaking from the bottom, check the electric heating element gasket to see whether it is damaged. Check your heater’s temperature and pressure overflow pipes for leaks. If your heater becomes damaged beyond repair, have it replaced immediately.

Before replacing a water heater, make sure no leaks are coming from the fittings or connections.

Rusty Water 

Rusty water could mean that the anode rod (usually screwed on to the top of the tank) or the tank itself has corroded. To determine if you need a new water heater, fill three or four buckets with water. If you notice traces of rust from your hot water supply, you need a new water heater.

To prevent rusting, use a magnesium, zinc, or aluminum anode rod. If you use two large anode rods, make sure both are made from the same metal.

Not Enough Hot Water 

It is arguably the most obvious sign you need a new water heater. If your shower keeps turning cold before you are finished, sediment may have built up, creating a barrier between the water and heat.

Holman Plumbing is proud to be the preferred plumbing contractor of many families in Santa Rosa. We specialize in water heating repair and replacement. From helping you choose the right water heater for your home to installing it correctly, our team will help you from start to finish. To make an appointment, call (707) 495-5002.  

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