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3 Signs Your Water Heater Is About To Leak

August 11th, 2009


It’s inevitable- your water heater will someday leak. We receive the call every day from frustrated homeowners in the Boston area that woke up to no hot water and a mess in the basement. What can be done? Look for these 3 signs that your water heater may be on the fritz!

1) Age:
If your water heater is past its warranty, it should be replaced immediately. If your water heater is a tank-type storage tank, it was designed to fail- usually a few days after the warranty in most cases. Water heaters, after manufacturing, are sent to testing facilities where they endure accelerated lifecycles. Engineers can mimic 10 years of regular use in under 1 month- so believe us- they know exactly how long they are supposed to last. Walk into your local home-store and look at the water heaters; they sell a 3 year, 6 year, 9 year & 12 year tank- each with an appropriately-sized “sacrificial anode rod” to resist corrosion and protect the tank.

2) Reduced Output & Discolored Water:
Are you getting less hot water from your tank than you did last week? Your tank will fail rapidly once it reaches the end. Many homeowners mistake this symptom as an indicator to raise the tank temperature. If you find that your water is discolored, smelly or full of sediment or debris, your tank’s inner steel liner is now exposed because the minerals have eaten away the ceramic/glass lining, and tank failure is just around the corner.

3) Visual Inspection:
Take a look at your water heater from time to time, and you may begin to notice unusual conditions. When the base of your tank begins to show “scorching” or soot, your burner is starting to fail. If the “tappings” at the top of your tank, or anywhere along the tank’s jacket show corrosion, your tank is probably close to leaking.

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