Understanding Plumbing Basics
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Understanding Plumbing Basics

As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.


Understanding Plumbing Basics

Is Your Water Heater Going Out?

Jorge Alexander

Does your water heater seem to take forever to heat up the water in your home? Could you imagine if the day ever comes when the water heater fails to actually heat your water? Water heaters tend to last between 8 and 12 years before needing to be replaced. Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge under your belt, you will know when your water heater is about to go out on you. Here are four signs to keep an eye out for so that you can replace yours before you wake up and realize you have no hot water to take a shower in.

Popping or Rumbling Noises

If it sounds like you have a bag of popcorn cooking, there is a very good chance that your hot water heater is starting to fail. When the hard water in the tank starts to heat up, the mineral sludge will start to accumulate at the bottom. Unfortunately, this will create an insulating barrier between the burner and the tank. The popping noises that you may hear are due to those mineral deposits getting excessively hot and turning into steam. As this process takes place, the appliance becomes overworked. Eventually, the tank may crack and leak. At this point, a professional will need to replace it.

Water Pooling at the Heater's Base

If you notice there is water around the outside of your water heater, the water could be coming from one of two places. The water may be excess steam that is coming from the temperature and pressure valve. That excess steam will eventually turn into water and come down the pipe. This is entirely normal. However, if there is a significant amount of water, then you will need to contact a plumber.

The water may also be a leak from the tank. If the water is around the heater's base, then the leak is internal. Hairline cracks from inside of the tank can result from the tank expanding and contracting as it heats up and cools down. A professional plumber will need to replace your appliance.

Cloudy, Foul-Smelling, and/or Metallic Tasting Water

If you have recently noticed that your water is cloudy, the water smells bad, or the water has a metallic taste to it, then your water heater may be on its last legs. All of these issues can stem from the excess buildup of mineral sludge from the hard water heating up. A professional can install anode rods, which can help in the attraction of corrosive minerals and minimize the chance of the heater's interior lining eroding. This can lengthen the life of your water heater .

For more information, contact a plumber near you.