7 Warning Signs of a Malfunctioning Water Heater

Using your water heater can cause some problems if you don’t take care of it properly, which is why it’s important to catch and fix problems when they first start appearing. Before you have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a new water heater, you should pay attention to these 7 warning signs of a failing water heater.

1) Strange Noises

If you hear strange or grating noises coming from your water heater, it’s time to get it checked out. This could be a sign that it’s wearing down and may need replacing. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a professional as soon as possible if you notice any odd noises; waiting too long can mean bigger problems in the future.  

2) Temperature Fluctuations

If your water’s temperature is starting to fluctuate, that’s a sign that something’s not right. While fluctuations from hot to cold can happen naturally, on occasion, when they become more frequent or severe it could mean your heater is failing. Temperature fluctuations will cause you to use more energy than usual and could eventually lead to damage in other parts of your home. 

3) Slow Water Flow 

If your water’s temperature is starting to fluctuate, that’s a sign that something’s not right. While fluctuations from hot to cold can happen naturally, on occasion, when they become more frequent or severe it could mean your heater is failing. Temperature fluctuations will cause you to use more energy than usual and could eventually lead to damage in other parts of your home. 

4) Water Pressure Drops 

If your water pressure is suddenly lower than usual, it may be an indicator that something is wrong with your hot water heater. If you notice that there is noticeably less pressure coming from your taps, it’s worth having a look at your system to see if there are any issues. Low water pressure can occur for several reasons; here are some of them:  

  • Your Hot Water Tank Isn't Holding Enough Water - One reason why you could have low water pressure is that your hot water tank isn’t holding enough water. If your water tank doesn’t have much water in it, it can’t maintain high levels of pressure.  
  • There are Leaks in the System - If there are leaks in any part of your system, water will escape from them and won’t be available to use for household purposes.  
  • Your Hot Water Tank is Old - Over time, hot water tanks can start to age and become less effective at producing strong water pressure. 
  • You Don't Have Enough Water Pressure in Your Home - Another factor that could contribute to low water pressure is if you don’t have enough pressure entering your home in the first place.

5) Temperature Spikes

If your water is scalding hot one day and icy cold another, it may be that you’re experiencing temperature spikes caused by an unstable thermostat. If these temperature swings are rapid and frequent (sometimes every other day), you may need to replace your thermostat altogether. A faulty thermostat can lead to corrosion or leaks inside your tank, which means you could be paying for higher water bills without receiving better service in return. Monitor your water heater for temperature changes now and again, as it may save you from a serious emergency down the road. 

6) Rusty Drain Pipes

If your drain pipes are rusty, it could be a sign that your water heater is on its way out. Excessive rust will degrade drain and waste lines and reduce their lifespan significantly. If you notice rust inside your piping, call an expert plumber to investigate further. They’ll be able to help you determine if there’s any damage and recommend how best to address it before it becomes a problem or threatens your safety.

7) Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your water smells like rotten eggs, it’s probably hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). This gas is produced when wastewater mixes with air in your water heater. Unfortunately, H2S has no taste or odor so you won’t know it’s there until you start noticing other symptoms. If you do smell rotten eggs coming from your hot water, turn off your heater immediately and call a plumber to replace any parts that may be leaking. 

Summary

If you use your water heater regularly, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these signs that it might be malfunctioning. If left unchecked, these issues can lead to major complications in your home—and even serious safety hazards. So, regularly check the above mentioned 7 warning signs. Also, determine the time to get your water heater serviced or replaced.

Why Choose Bulldog Rooter? 

The Bulldog Difference

24 / 7 Service

365 Days a Year! 

No Up-Charge for Late Nights, Weekends or Holidays

FREE Onsite Estimates! 

Financing Options, No Interest if paid in 6 months!

More on Water Heater Repair & Installation


If you are looking for more info, see our Water Heater Repair and Installation Q & A or more Water Heater Repair & Installation Blogs below!