If you’re like most people, the first thing you want to do after a long, hard day at work is to enjoy a hot, relaxing shower.

Imagine this scenario: You get home, turn on the shower, and when you hop in, anticipating the warmth soothing your sore muscles, you’re met, instead, by a frigid flow of water. Your dreams of relaxation have been dashed. What’s worse is you’re likely facing water heater problems that need to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Your water heater is an essential home appliance that plays a big role in your overall daily comfort. They’re also prone to issues, especially as they age. So, if you’re having water heater troubles it’s best to identify the issues before you have a bigger problem in your hands. Here are some obvious indicators of problems to look for.

1. You Don’t Have Any Hot Water

This should go without saying – especially since we just painted the picture of a hot water-less existence for you – but if you have no hot water, there’s a good chance you’re facing water heater issues.

If you notice you don’t have hot water in one part of the house, say, the kitchen, check the other faucets throughout your home. You can also determine if your water heater is the problem by touching the temperature-pressure relief valve and hot water outlet pipe above it. If they’re warm, that means your water heater is working and there’s just a blockage somewhere in the pipes.

2. Your Water Temperature Varies

Maybe you get hot water some of the time – but sometimes you don’t. If your water temperature fluctuates, that’s another clear indicator that you should take a look at your water heater.

3. Your Water Heater Is Leaking

If you notice your water heater is leaking, you should act immediately. There could be any number of reasons that it’s leaking, including age, poor installation or maintenance, a loose drain valve, or excessive tank pressure.

How you handle the problem will depend on which of these reasons it’s leaking. Odds are good it will be a quick fix – simply tighten your drain valve. But if the tank pressure is the problem or it’s aged beyond repair, call in a professional.

4. There Are Signs Of Corrosion

As water heaters age, they’re likely to rust. If you see obvious signs of corrosion – basically, rust in the water coming out of your faucets, the water inlet, or your pressure relief valve – be prepared to replace your appliance.

5. Your Water Pressure Fluctuates

Maybe sometimes your water is a trickle. Other times it might come out as strong as a fire hose. And sometimes the flow might be perfectly normal.

If your water pressure fluctuates frequently, there might be scale or sediment build-up in your water heater. You’ll want to have the tank drained and you should also inspect your pipes to see if they’ve been impacted by the gunk.

6. There’s An Unusual Odor

You should be concerned if your water has a strange, sulfur-like smell to it like rotten eggs. This could be a sign that there’s a problem with your water heater’s anode rod, which kills bacteria in the water.

The first thing you need to do is determine if the issue stems from your water heater. If you only notice the odor when you’re running cold water, that’s an indicator the problem is actually your water source. If you smell it when the hot water is running, then you know it’s the water heater.

7. Your Water Heater Is Aging

Water heaters only have a lifespan of eight to 12 years. If you notice minor issues with water temperature, pressure, and flow, and your water heater falls within that age range, it could be time to consider replacing it. The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll have a worse problem to deal with down the road.

Need Help With Water Heater Problems?

If you’re overwhelmed by water heater problems at your home, contact our highly qualified team to help. Our honest plumbers are here to get the job done efficiently, effectively, and affordably.