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Don't Let Failed Water Heaters or Softeners Damage Your Home

Know the signs of a failing water heater or softener.

failing water heater

Water heaters and softeners make anything to do with hot water more comfortable. They give us hot water for washing dishes, taking baths and showers, and warm water for washing clothes. They're one of those appliances we tend to forget about until something goes wrong.

The bad news is, when water heaters and softeners fail, they can cause considerable damage in your home. The good news is, they tend to give warning signs that a failure is looming.

Here are some ways you can tell if your water heater is failing and should be serviced or replaced soon.

  • It takes longer for water to heat.
  • Water doesn't get as hot as it used to.
  • There's rust in water coming from your faucets or on your clothes.
  • Your hot water heater makes cracking and popping sounds when it's heating.
  • There's a metallic taste in your hot water.
  • Rust is forming on the outside bottom of your water heater.
  • A puddle is forming under your hot water heater. (If you see this, the heater has already started to leak. Call a plumber immediately before the tank bursts or turns into a major leak and floods the room it's in.)
  • The burner units become clogged or rusty.

If you notice any of these signs, call a plumber or water heater specialist. These could indicate a looming, complete breakdown of your water heater which could lead to substantial water leakage and damage to your home.

Your water softener

A water softener is a companion to a water heater. It helps remove minerals in hard water to allow a water heater to work more efficiently. Unfortunately, like water heaters, water softeners can fail. Here are a few telltale signs your water softener is failing.

  • It takes more soap to get the same amount of suds.
  • Your dishes are cloudy when they come out of the dishwasher.
  • You're not using as much salt in the softener as you used to.
  • You notice resin “beads” from the softening tank showing up on dishes, clothes and in sinks.

If you notice any of these signs, contact a plumber or water softener specialist immediately.

For complete confidence in your water heater and softener, make a point of checking them every month. By doing so, you can spot any telltale signs your system needs to be serviced or replaced. By fixing or replacing the system before it fails, you can avoid costly and messy water damage in your home.

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