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Signs that Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance

Last updated 6 years ago

During the operational life of a home hot water heater, the appliance will require occasional maintenance to run smoothly and efficiently. When water heaters run into problems, the signs may sometimes be quite subtle, but recognizing them early on can help you have them addressed by a qualified heating contractor.

  • Sediment in your water: Over time, sediment can naturally build within your water heater as it replenishes itself from your municipal water supply. An annual flushing by a professional HVAC contractor can help address any buildup. Note that if you see flecks of metal or what appears to be rust in your water, you may have a larger issue—water heaters contain what is called a sacrificial anode rod, which will eventually reach the end of its useful life and need to be replaced. Signs of rust indicate that the tank of your water heater itself may be corroding.

  • Temperature issues: A lack of hot water is an immediate issue. Verify that your water heater has power or that its pilot light is functioning and it has an uninterrupted fuel supply. If it does, your heating element or burner may be in need of repair or replacement. Inconsistent temperatures can mean that your thermostat isn’t functioning properly. Some water heaters may have multiple thermostats, which should all be checked.
  • Noisy or constant operation: Your water heater may make noise now and then, as the metal expands or contracts with temperature and your pressure relief valve functions normally. However, this noise should be infrequent, and consistent knocking or whistling during operation may indicate that you have an issue. During your annual inspection by a qualified heating contractor, your pressure relief valve should be checked for safe operation. If your water heater is running continuously, your temperature may be set too high, you could have a thermostat malfunction, or it may be another issue that needs to be checked by your HVAC specialist.

Blue Dot Services of Maryland can help in the event of water heater issues. If you suspect your water heater is in need of attention or you would like to schedule an inspection, contact us at (410) 698-6465.


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