It’s a real nightmare type of scenario. You’re stumbling down your stairs in the dead of night, heading into the basement to grab a few things to bring back upstairs. You take that first step off of the steps, and immediately you know something is wrong.

It’s wet. And it’s not just a puddle – there’s water from wall to wall and you’re calf deep in it.

The most common perpetrator? Your water heater.

Now you’re panicking, while at the same time splashing around in basement water. If only there was something you could’ve seen that would’ve helped you prevent this – any sort of sign that may have tipped you off.

As Jesse with Water Damage 24 in Little Rock says, “If you’ve already gotten your swim trunks on, it’s too late for you. Repair is now out of reach, and you’ll need water damage help.” But for those of us hoping to avoid disaster, here are some common signs that your water heater may be on its way out.

Inadequate Hot Water

This might seem pretty standard, but it bares repeating. If your shower isn’t getting up to that piping hot temperature you’re used to, or it’s taking longer than usual to get hot water out of your faucet, your water heater may be to blame. (Note: if you need water heater repair in Hurst, Bedford, or Euless go here.)

When water is heated, the minerals inside of it separate in the tank and settle at the bottom. Over the course of time, these minerals build up and actually create a barrier between your burner and the water itself. This ultimately stops your water from heating up, or creates a much longer delay in water becoming hot.

Noises in your water heater

Don’t ignore that rumbling coming from the basement! Noises coming from your water heater are another sure sign that it’s on its last legs. In particular, you may hear some distinct popping or crackling noises coming from your tank. The popping noise is, once again, caused by pesky mineral buildup. Pockets of air that form around the mineral sediment pop when they’re boiled inside the heater along with your water.

Don’t delay in calling a plumbing service when you start hearing these noises!

Water Discoloration and Smell

Pour yourself a glass of water and take a look at what’s staring back at you. If the water appears cloudy or off from what you’re used to seeing, chances are there’s a problem with your water heater.

In this case, the mineral deposits we’ve spoken of make their way out of your tank and into your drinking water – definitely a disgusting premise. These minerals not only will cause your water to appear murky, but will also give the water itself a metallic smell. This side effect is one that’s pretty distinct, and should cause you to call your local plumbing service ASAP. Psst...we recommend All Masters. 😉 

Leaking Tank Water

You should be taking a look at and around your water tank every now and then. Aside from preventive maintenance, a quick five-minute inspection may help you avoid a boatload (pun intended) of problems in the future.

If you notice water pooling up near the bottom of your tank, it’s time to replace it. Rust and corrosion within the water tank can lead to small fractures forming over time. This may be the most significant of all the warning signs – a leaking water tank is a precursor to the entire structure bursting, which could result in your basement, or worse, your entire home being flooded.  

Age of your water heater

Unfortunately, costly water heaters don’t last forever. Most water heaters will last between eight and ten years, but this varies depending on how many people have been living in the home. Ten is a pretty standard age for replacement, whether or not you’ve had significant repairs to the unit’s tank over the course of time or not.