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Water Heater 101: 4 Ways To Identify a Water Heater Emergency

Jan 19, 2023

The water heater in your home is responsible for your hot water supply. You count on this trusty appliance during every month of the year, whether you need to wash the dishes or want to take a nice, warm shower. However, just like any other appliance, your water heater isn’t indestructible. At some point, you may experience a serious problem that requires the help of a professional technician.

If your water heater is causing issues, you might be wondering if you should treat the situation like an emergency. So, what is considered a water heater emergency, exactly? Which water heater problems warrant an immediate repair or replacement? We’ll answer these questions below!

Leaking Water

If your water heater is leaking, it’s understandable if you’re worried. Even the most minor water leaks can cause damage to your home and lead to various problems, such as mold growth. So, is a leaking water heater an emergency? Well, it depends.

Water Leaking From the T&P Valve

In some cases, a leaking hot water heater isn’t cause for concern. In fact, if there’s water leaking from the pressure relief valve (or temperature and pressure relief valve), then this can be a sign that your water heater is working correctly.

Your water heater’s T&P valve is a safety device that’s designed to relieve excess pressure in the tank. If the pressure inside the water heater tank reaches a super high level, this can potentially lead to an explosion. Fortunately, the T&P valve will relieve the pressure in the tank by discharging a small amount of water or stream.

Water Leaking From the Drain Valve

Of course, water heater leaks can come in all different shapes and sizes. For example, if your water heater leaks from the bottom of the tank, you could be dealing with a faulty drain valve.

So, is a leaking water heater an emergency when there’s a problem with the drain valve? The answer to this question is an absolute “yes.” The drain valve on your water heater allows you to drain the tank during routine maintenance. If the drain valve has become worn, this can cause water to gush out of the tank with no end in sight.

Like with a burst pipe, you’ll want to urgently handle a leaking water heater. First, turn off the water, then shut off the unit at the circuit breaker. Once you’ve shut off the water heater and cleaned up any visible water, call a professional technician for an emergency service.

Cold Water

What is considered a water heater emergency besides a leak? Well, maybe it goes without saying, but a lack of hot water is a serious problem. Your family must always have access to hot water, especially when outside temperatures drop. In some cases, not having water can jeopardize your health and safety.

If your water heater isn’t producing hot water, don’t hesitate to call a technician for help. The professional will diagnose the problem and provide a solution, so you don’t wind up in a potentially dangerous situation.

Cracks & Rust

Your water heater works hard to meet your hot water demands. Unfortunately, this means that the tank can experience regular wear and tear over the years. If you’ve spotted visible damage on the water heater tank, such as cracks or corrosion, it’s time to call a professional to repair or replace it.

Even if the problem starts small, a crack or spot of rust can quickly lead to tank leaks if you aren’t careful. As we’ve already mentioned, a leaking water heater is an emergency and should be handled with a sense of urgency.

Unusual Noises

As a homeowner, knowing that your water heater shouldn’t be making noises is crucial. If your unit is constantly buzzing, banging, or whistling, this clearly indicates something is wrong.

In some instances, strange water heater sounds can be fixed with routine maintenance or small fixes. However, there are a few cases where loud, unusual noises require comprehensive repair or replacement.

What is considered a water heater emergency when it comes to noises? For example, hissing can suggest that the tank is leaking. Screeching will usually indicate a serious issue with the water heater’s valves. When in doubt, call an expert for help.

Have a Water Heater Emergency? Call the Experts!

It’s no secret that a leaking water heater is an emergency, but you also shouldn’t turn a blind eye to visible damage on the tank, strange noises, and a complete lack of hot water. All of these issues should be addressed promptly. A plumbing emergency, big or small, should be handled as soon as possible to prevent serious water damage.

Now that you know what is considered a water heater emergency, call Fast Water Heater for assistance! Whether you’ve noticed your water heater leaks at the top of the tank or doesn’t provide enough hot water, we can provide a reliable solution. We specialize in everything from leaky water heaters to routine maintenance.
If necessary, we can help you with a water heater replacement in Tacoma, WA, and beyond. Our service areas extend throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!

Call (425) 636-7038
for fast service


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