You might be surprised by just how important your hot water heater is. It’s not just that it provides you with warm water in the bathroom, preventing you from having icy cold showers in the morning. No, your water heater is also necessary for your dishwasher and your washing machine to function optimally. It is no exaggeration to say that the water heater is a key part of your household plumbing system.
The implication of this: when your water heater breaks down, it throws everything else askew, and requires immediate attention. And your water heater will break down eventually, simply because nothing lasts forever.
Preventative Maintenance for Your Water Heater
With that said, there are things you can do to keep your water heater functioning as long as possible. Knowing the early warning signs of trouble, and calling trained plumbers to perform preventative maintenance, can keep you from simply losing your water heater unexpectedly one day.
You’ll want to be especially alert to water heater problems during the winter months. When it’s cold outside, your water heater’s metal tank can expand, then contract, possibly rupturing. Be particularly mindful of this if you keep your water heater somewhere chilly, like an unheated basement or garage.
As for specific warning signs to watch out for, here’s a quick list—just some of the most common ones:
- Any sign of water accumulating under the water heater—drips, leaks, puddles.
- The colour of flame in your heater, assuming it’s gas-powered; a blue flame is good, but yellow points to trouble.
- Insufficient warm water in your home, or a water temperature that doesn’t seem to match the temperature you have the unit set for.
- A reddish hue to your water, or any sign of rust coming out of your faucet.
- Any obvious, visible sign of cracking or bending on your water heater itself.
So what should you do if you observe any of these warning signs? There’s nothing to keep you from attempting a DIY water heater repair or replacement project, but you should know that this is a tough job that most always requires a professional touch. Plus, you may not need to replace the unit; sometimes, a bit of maintenance is all it takes. Contact our team of Vancouver plumbers to get started with this important work.