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How to Know a Home Needs Water Heater Repair or Replacement

3 Indicators of a Water Heater in Need of Repair or Replacement

Water heaters are easy to forget and ignore if they work correctly. They are generally quiet and sit in an out-of-the-way corner of the home and just do their job keeping the hot water flowing throughout the home. The water heater is involved in almost every use of the house plumbing system. But when they experience problems, they need attention right away. Problems that indicate a need for water heater repair or replacement will be discussed in this article.

The Water Heater Is Making Strange Sounds


As previously mentioned, water heaters are meant to be quiet appliances. If strange and startling noises start occurring, then they should be investigated. Various issues can contribute to these sounds, including the problems listed below.

  • Sediment in the tank: This buildup can cause popping or rumbling noises and means the tank needs to be drained and flushed. Even tankless water heater maintenance requires flushing the lines and the small holding tank to keep the heater working efficiently.
  • PRV malfunction: The pressure relief valve, or PRV, is an important safety feature that should be checked regularly during annual professional maintenance.
  • Heating element malfunction: If there is popping or banging related to the heating element (especially if it is gas-fueled), the igniter may be wearing out, or fuel lines may need cleaning or replacement.

Water From the Water Heater Smells Bad or Isn’t Clear 


Even if there aren’t any unusual noises coming from the water heater tank, there can still be issues going on internally. Another sign of water heater issues is hot water that smells or looks off. If hot water is coming out of the plumbing fixtures, smelling odd or looking discolored or rusty, then corrosion is likely happening. 

It may be corrosion within the water heater tank or the pipes to the fixture. However, if the hot water tank is corroded, it can lead to a need for water heater replacement. A badly corroded water heater cannot be fully repaired due to the nature of corrosion. It weakens the metal and makes it more susceptible to leaks and damage. 

The Water Heater Is Leaking

A leaking water heater is an urgent sign of water heater problems. Leaks not only cost money because of the water being wasted, but they can also cause collateral damage due to moisture and water damage. Sometimes these leaks can be repairable, like leaks from loose pipe or valve connections.

Other water heater leaks, such as a leak from a crack or corrosion in the tank, likely cannot be repaired and require replacement. A plumbing professional should handle all such repairs to prevent further issues, and water heater maintenance is essential to help prevent corrosion and other issues with the water heater. 

About Magic Plumbing

Magic Plumbing is a reliable plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor serving San Francisco and the surrounding communities. They provide convenient scheduling, prompt service, and personal attention. Call them today for water heater repair or replacement in San Francisco, CA

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