Water Heater Failures

Top 5 Water Heater Failures During Colder Weather

When the weather outside is freezing, and you need hot water for your showers, dishwasher, and washing machine, you’re going to expect your water heater to deliver. But as we all know from personal experience, that’s not always possible. 


All Year is a Sacramento-based water heater specialist that can help you keep your water heater in good shape so you don’t have to worry about it when the cold weather sets in. Call us at 916-922-7796 or email us at info@allyearah.com.


Noises coming from the tank

If you hear a knocking or banging sound, it could be caused by sediment buildup. The most common place to find sediment is at the bottom of your water heater tank, where it’s collecting as hard deposits of minerals. 


If this happens, you’ll likely hear banging noises when water heats up and expands. This problem also causes hot water lines to break down faster than usual—which may require replacement sooner than expected.


It won’t provide enough hot water

The first step in determining this issue is checking the temperature setting on your thermostat so that it’s not set too low. If the temperature isn’t too low, check the pressure at which your hot water tank operates (usually around 120 psi). 


If it’s higher than normal, it may indicate an insufficient cold-water supply to keep up with the demand for hot water. Other signs include:

  • Having warm or cold taps when all other faucets are at room temperature
  • One fixture works without any noticeable loss of flow rate, while others are almost non-functional
  • Metal pipes connected directly from outside fixtures into an indoor bathtub with no expansion tank between them
  • Exposed pipe connections above ground level (for example, where drain lines run over concrete slabs)


Fluctuation in hot water temperature

Temperature fluctuations are normal in your water heater. Your thermostat controls the temperature of your hot water, so fluctuations will likely occur when the temperature outside changes or when you adjust your home’s heat.


When temperatures change, and your thermostat goes up or down, this can cause a temporary change in the available amount of hot water and a pressure drop inside your pipes. 


If these fluctuations happen regularly, you might need to replace your current thermostat with a new model. If they only occur once in a while, then another issue may be at play (like mineral buildup).


Cloudy and discolored hot water

One possibility is the hot water heater is dirty and needs to be cleaned, especially if it’s installed outside your house. You may also need to replace the old or broken heater if it isn’t working properly and causing clogs in your pipes. 


In some cases, low pressure in your home due to a leaky faucet could cause this issue, as well as a bad valve on your water heater itself.


Another possibility is that the unit needs more heat output for all the hot water being used by different fixtures at once. It’s especially true if you’re using more than one at a time (e.g., washing dishes while showering). 


Leaking water heater

When your water heater starts leaking, it’s time to call the experts. A leaking hot water heater can cause severe damage to your home. 


Water heaters should be checked for leaks at least once a year and maintained regularly, but sometimes they must be replaced. An older tankless or storage-type water heater will likely have some corrosion around the bottom of the tank or on a pipe running through it. 


Leaks may start as small pinholes that lead to corrosion over time, and larger ones open up when you repeatedly turn your hot water on and off. That’s called “sweating” or sweating pipes; sweating pipes are caused by acidic salts dissolving metals like aluminum metal tanks in the soil.


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Common Water Heater Failures During Fall & Winter

Ultimately, different types of water heaters can have a variety of issues that are common during the winter months. If you notice any of these symptoms or have questions about your water heater, call us at 916-922-7796 or email us at info@allyearah.com.