Most homeowners have no idea that there can be many issues with their water heater. All they know is that when there is no hot water, it is time to call a plumber. And if the plumber you select is less than trustworthy, you could be investing in a new water heater when all the old one needed was an inexpensive repair. However, once you familiarize yourself with some of the common signs of a water heater issue, you will no longer buy into the sham of a less than reputable plumber.

Mineral And Sediment Build-Up

When you notice that your hot water is in shorter supply and is not as hot as you would like, don’t resign yourself to making a significant purchase to replace the unit. In many cases, the only issue is the sediment at the bottom of the tank. This combination of scale and minerals decreases the efficiency of your water heater and increases your cost to heat water.

The solution for all of these particles in your water heater is a simple tank draining and professional cleaning. The process is very straightforward and should take an expert less than an hour to complete. And while you have our plumber at your home, he or she can also inspect all the rest of your water heater to make sure that it is in perfect working order.

Cloudy Or Smelly Hot Water

Have you noticed that your hot water has an odd smell or looks cloudy? All of these are indications that there is some type of contamination in your water heater. In the case of bacteria, you can sometimes kill the contamination by turning the temperature on the water heater up above 120 degrees. A temperature of 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is what the American Society of Sanitary Engineers recommends to kill Legionella and other bacteria. Run this super-hot water through faucets and showers at full heat to kill any bacteria that has traveled into the fixtures before reducing the water heater temperature. While the temperature is set this high, be sure to be careful of hot water burns. If this does not eliminate the issue, a professional tank cleaning should do the trick. 

If your hot water has a slight tan or brown color, the culprit is likely to be rust in your water heater holding tank. The best option is to drain the tank and flush it to remove the rust. If the tank of too damaged, you should replace it before the rust eats through the tank wall and creates a water leak.

No Hot Water

You might think that having no hot water means that your water heater has reached the end of the road, and it is time to buy a new unit. That is what many plumbers would like you to believe. But the truth of the matter is that many parts of your water heater can be replaced when they fail. And the cost is merely a fraction of the cost of a new water heater. No hot water could be due to a worn-out thermostat or even the heating element. A good plumber will test these components and provide you with a price quote for a repair rather than just the cost of a new unit.

Your budget might dictate that a repair is your best option. But when you have a traditional water heater that is nearing ten years old, your money could be better invested in a new model. A decade is about all you can expect from a standard water heater. But with the repair, you could gain enough time to budget for the replacement. Your plumber should advise you as to the best option but be willing to work within your budget to get your hot water flowing again quickly.


Knowing the common signs of a water heater issue is very different from being able to fix the problem. So when you find that your water heater is telling you that it needs service, maintenance, or a small repair, call 806-583-3558 to schedule an appointment with a plumber that you can trust. All of the Action Air Plumbing and Septic plumbers are licensed and have years of experience and expertise in evaluating and repairing all makes and models of water heaters.

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