When does your hot water system need repairs?

A reliable hot water system is a basic necessity to a comfortable existence. It is so integral to modern life that most of us may take it for granted, noticing it only after it has broken down. Its absence is felt more than its presence at times. The high bills that may be incurred to fix a broken hot water system can be avoided by looking out for some signs before it is too late.

Given that most of us don’t have technical knowledge about most appliances, at times we might not see the trouble brewing. Many years of frequent use leads to the wearing down of parts and regardless of the make and model of the heater, you may experience inconvenient malfunctions and break-downs.

If the damage is too extensive and the system loses the ability to heat up water, it may require costly repairs or a complete replacement. Below we have talked about tell-tale signs of a defective hot water system that will help you address your hot water issues well in time to take appropriate action.

Discoloured Water

Crystal clear water is an indicator of a healthy hot water system. However, if you notice discoloured water coming out of your taps, it is an indication of problems. Brown water or a suspension of dark particles in the water suggests there is a build-up of sediment in your tank. If this problem is not addressed immediately, it will damage the water heater and also pose a health risk to you and your family.

Water Does Not Retain Heat

To work at optimal levels a hot water system should be able to maintain the heat of the water for a certain duration of time. But if you find the water is losing heat quickly or not heating up at all, then your hot water system is definitely experiencing issues. Under these circumstances, there may not be much you can do, and you may have to replace your system.

Unusual Sounds

Strange noises, like popping, banging or crackling sounds from your water heater is a sure sign that it requires immediate attention and repairs. Most appliances make a certain level of ambient noise that is acceptable, but out of the ordinary sounds that worsen gradually indicate a faulty system. There could be various reasons for these, like a damaged heating element, sediment build-up, or a broken dip tube.


The metal casing of your water heater expands with time due to the heat it has to withstand over the years. This expansion causes it to crack when the maximum limit is reached and these cracks in turn lead to leaks. If you find water accumulating at the base of the heater, this is a sign the system has sprung a leak. Since the cracks are fine, the location of the leak may not be visible so you will need an inspection by a professional. The damage these leaks can cause can be vast and dangerous as the water can affect the furniture, walls and electrical outlets as well.

Rust Build-up

If you find rust on the outer body of the water heater, there is a high chance of rust inside the heater. And rust is an early indicator that the heater body will start to leak very soon as rust weakens the metal casing. If this rust enters the water it can be a health hazard, therefore it is not something that you can ignore. Extensive rusting may mean you have to replace the entire unit, as after a point it is not possible to fix the issue.

Replacing your water heater can involve high costs and is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you are in the middle of winter. So to save yourself some money and unnecessary hassle all you need to do is to be attentive to these common issues. Act as soon as you see these signs, by calling in the experts.

Our trained electricians at Ruttley Services have years of experience in hot water system repairs and are on call 24X7 in case of emergencies. Let us give your hot water system a new life by giving it a complete overhaul to keep it in the best working conditions for many years.

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