Sediment, or mineral deposits, can accumulate in water heaters and create rust on the elements and metal casing. Eventually, this rust will eat through the bottom of your unit if a plumbing contractor doesn’t address the issue in time. As you contemplate scheduling an appointment, here are signs that indicate a water heater is close to failing.

What Are the Signs of a Malfunctioning Water Heater?

1. Reduced Hot Water

If hot water no longer lasts as long as it should, it’s a sign the elements in the water heater have become caked with rust. This creates a barrier between the component and the water, which reduces the unit’s effectiveness. The temperature gauge in the water heater will keep the elements on longer in an attempt to reach the correct temperature, resulting in higher utility costs.

2. Popping or Crackling Noises

Plumbing Contractor Fort Dodge, IAThese noises are created by air bubbles breaking through the sediment layer. As more minerals settle to the bottom of the tank, more air pockets are formed. If a plumbing contractor drains the water from the tank, and the sound continues, this means that the tank is about to crack or leak.

3. Leaking Water

If there is any water forming outside the bottom of the tank, then you could be dealing with a leak. If the water is coming from a valve, it’s possible that the component can be replaced. If the leak is from the tank, the water will continue to exit the tank until it is empty. Shut off the water main to prevent excessive flooding, and if you know how to drain the water tank, do so immediately to reduce water damage.


If you’re looking for a reliable plumbing contractor, contact the experts at Riley-Armstrong Plumbing & Heating in Fort Dodge, IA. With over 30 years of experience, they’ve served residential and commercial clients throughout the state. Their services include new construction, remodeling, and air conditioning or heater repair. Call (515) 955-2232 today or visit their website to schedule a service call.