Water heaters are essential to modern life. Even though the climate in Abu Dhabi is already hot, it is still a blessing to have hot water on demand. Water heaters are the most convenient and time-saving way to heat water for showers, cooking, cleaning, and other uses.
When your water heater breaks, you will be amazed at how much more difficult life becomes. Knowing the early signs of a water heater malfunction will help you solve the problem before it becomes a disaster.
Different Types Of Water Heaters
Before we look at the signs of a broken water heater, let us first understand the different types.
1. Conventional Water Heaters
Traditional water heaters are usually installed in the water tank. The capacity of the tank determines the amount of hot water you can get.
The tank retains heat well, so the water will stay warm for a long time. There is a separate water line connected to the tank so warm water is always available.
2. On-Demand Water Heater
This is a more advanced and efficient version of the conventional water heaters. Instead of a tank, they have a coil in the waterline which heats the water as it passes through, providing a constant supply of warm water.
3. Hybrid Water Heater
Hybrid water heaters are different from the other two. Instead of using electricity to directly heat the water, these hybrid heaters use electricity to draw heat from the air and from the ground. This system is extremely energy efficient.
4. Solar Heaters
Solar heaters, also known as solar-powered water heaters, are pretty self-explanatory. They use the energy of the sun to heat up water. This is even more energy-efficient than the hybrid water heaters because it uses no electricity.
5. Condensing Water Heater
Your house produces a lot of fumes from burning gas (from cooking, for example). Condensing water heaters use these hot fumes to heat up the water. The fumes are channelled through the exhaust to a tank, warming the water as they pass it.
Signs That Your Water Heater Is Broken
Whichever type of water heater you have, there are some common signs of a failing system.
1. Warm Water Will Not Come Out
This is the biggest sign that your water heater is broken. No matter how long you let it run, you will have hot water problems and the water will never be that hot.
2. Strange Popping Noises
Another sign of a broken water heater is a strange noise, often a popping sound. This happens when the sediments from water get inside the heater.
3. The Water Will Appear Cloudy
If the water coming out of the faucet appears brown or cloudy, it could be one of two things. There is either a problem in your pipeline or your water heater.
4. Damaged Pressure Relief Valve
If you see water spilling from your heater, it is very likely that the pressure relief valve of the heater is damaged. A pressure relief valve is used to control the water pressure inside the heater.
If the pressure is too high, then the valve will open, and water will flow out. If the valve does not open, the water will accumulate inside the heater, and this, in turn, might make the heater explode.
5. A Leak in the Tank
A leak in the storage tank will also cause a lot of problems. The tank retains heat to keep the water warm, but if there is a leak, water will flow out and disrupt the heat stability.
If you see a large pool of water under your water tank, you can be sure that there is a leak. It is a good idea to check and clean the tank periodically.
6. Water Heater Corrosion
The water heater has a lot of minerals flowing through it, some of which can become harmful when heated.
This causes the heater to corrode, which will damage the water quality, giving it a strong stench. A corroded heater needs to be replaced immediately.
7. Sediments Come Along with Warm Water
Another sign of a damaged heater is seeing sediment mixing with the water. Water heaters are specifically designed to filter out sediment. If you are seeing evidence of sediment, that means the filter is not working. This can further damage your heater.
8. Damaged Circuit Breaker
Water heaters have circuit breakers, just like all other electric equipment. During a power surge, it is not unlikely that the circuit breaker will trip. If there have been power surges, it is highly likely that this has happened.
If left unfixed, the next power surge could make the heater explode, causing serious damage. After a power surge, it is always smart to call in an electrician and get the heater fixed.
Water heaters are indispensable to modern life, but they are not indestructible and often get damaged. If you see any of the signs listed in this article, book a professional to assess and repair your heater.