The traditional gas hot water heater offers a tank that is well-insulated to contain and heat hot water, and while for the most part these units do a good job at supplying your home with the hot water you need, from time-to-time you will have issues. This is especially true with outdated models that have been in use for several years. If you want to get the most out of your gas hot water heater, it is a good idea to become familiar with a few of the most common signs that there is a problem and what you should do.
Problem: The hot water from the faucet if stained with rust.
Cause and Solution: Rust-colored hot water is most likely a sign that there is corrosion inside of the tank of the water heater. If the unit is several years old, this could be related to the metal based anode rod that was initially sacrificial, or designed to break down over time. You can have the anode replaced with a magnesium anode rod. Unfortunately, if you are still seeing rust after anode replacement, it means that the inside of the tank is starting to break down, which will mean you will soon need a replacement.
Problem: The hot water has a bad, soured odor that resembles rotten eggs or sulfur.
Cause and Solution: This is perhaps one of the most common problems with older hot water heater, especially those that are fueled by gas. This is sometimes related to bacteria build up inside of the hot water tank, which means you should have a professional come out and do a full system flush using water and hydrogen peroxide.
Problem: Rumbling, pops, and crackles are being heard from the tank.
Cause and Solution: If your gas hot water heater is starting to make a lot of racket, there is something it is trying to tell you. In some cases, the problem can be as simple as excessive sediment build up inside of the tank. However, sounds can also mean that there is a leak within the tank or even problems with the heating unit. So having your unit professionally diagnosed is a good idea.
When you are able to recognize and tackle common problems with your gas water heater, it will be less likely that you have to buy a replacement sooner than you have to. If you are experiencing problems that you cannot pin down, be sure to talk to a professional from a water heater repair service like McDermott Plumbing Service and Repair for advice or an assessment.