What Happens When You Neglect Your Water Heater

October 26, 2017

Your water heater is arguably one of the most undervalued major appliances in your home. You likely don’t stop to recognize how much of your daily routine depends on your water heater running properly. Taking a hot shower, a warm bath, running your dishwasher and disinfecting clothing and bedding are just a few examples of the home comforts that depend on hot water.

Proper maintenance is essential in maintaining the life of your water heater by reducing the development of leaks and damage to your tank and avoiding the dreaded call for emergency repair citing no hot water in the home.

Here are a few common signs that there may be a problem with your water heater:

Rusty Water

If the water from your water heater looks discolored, there is a distinct chance that your water heater is rusting on the inside, which could result in a leak and contaminated water.

Noises Coming From the Water Heater

Knocking or booming sounds coming from your water heater can be a signal that residue has built up on the foundation of the system. This means that your water heating system will be less efficient and will require more gas or electricity to heat your water, causing more expensive heating bills. In addition, the excessive effort necessary to heat your water could cause more damage to your system, leading to cracks and leaks.

A Noticeable Leak

The most frequent cause of failure of residential water heaters is a leak from the tank. If you see water around your tank, you presumably have a leak. And if your water heater resides in your attic or above the first floor, the likelihood of catastrophic damage climbs. If you discover your water heater is leaking, call the experts immediately. Even a minor leak can grow fast and cause significant damage to your home.

Not Enough Hot Water Available

If you’re getting zero, or very little, hot water out of your tap, the issue could be the pilot light on your water heater unit. If you’re not confident how to investigate the pilot light, call in the experts to handle the problem.

Water is Too Hot or Too Cold


If your running water is either too hot or too cold, there is a good chance that you have the incorrect size water heater to accommodate your living space and the number of people using hot water in your home. If a gas water heater is undersized, the system will deteriorate in a shorter period of time.

Age of Your Water Heater

The average lifespan of residential water heaters that have had proper maintenance is between ten and fifteen years. Even if there are no outward signs of an issue, a water heater that is ten years or older is at greater risk of producing a leak resulting in water damage to your home. Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. If you are unsure of the age of your water heater, check the identification sticker on the unit, where the manufactured date should be listed with the serial number.

The Service Experts Plumbing Team can help by fixing leaks, installing low-flow fixtures and consulting with you on possible energy-efficient upgrades. And if you discover it isn’t cost-effective to have a repair done, Service Experts can recommend a new water heater that will meet your household demands and work within your budget. Options include ENERGY STAR®-rated traditional tank water heaters or energy-efficient tankless water heater units. No matter the type of system you have, if you’ve neglected your water heater, call the experts at or request an appointment online.

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