With the recent COVID-19 outbreak and the stay-at-home recommendations in place, Fresno residents are spending more time at home than ever before. This means more dishes, more laundry, and more wear-and-tear on your aging water heater. In this article, we’ll review some of the potential signs your water heater might need to be replaced—and when you should call us for 24/7 emergency service here in Fresno and the Central Valley.

What are the signs you need a new water heater?

Here are three of the most common signs you need to have a Allbritten plumber replace your home’s water heater:


Under ideal conditions, your water heater is a closed-loop system: cold water comes into the tank, is heated and stored, and then gets distributed out where needed at the tap. There are only two circumstances that explain water pooling around the tank:

High tank pressure

As the water is heated and steam is created, pressure builds inside of the tank. Water heaters are built to withstand about 150 PSI—well above normal operating pressures. However, high temperatures can lead to pressure buildup. To avoid the tank from turning into a pressure cooker, your water heater’s pressure-relief valve opens up and releases air and water when the pressure gets too high. If there’s water underneath the valve, this could be the reason why.

Tank leaks

That same water pressure could be problematic if there are fractures in the tank shell. Throughout your water heater’s life, the shell is subjected to a near-constant cooling-heating cycle. The metal bends, warps, expands, and contracts with this temperature change. Late in its life, this may lead to tiny cracks in the tank that allow water to leak out. This is an issue, as it could mean the tank is close to failing and bursting open.

If you’re noticing water on the outside of the tank or the floor, call us right away for 24/7 plumbing repair.

Insufficient hot water

As water heaters get older, they begin to have a layer of sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. With enough time, this reduces the tank’s total water capacity—and the amount of hot water your home can use in a concentrated period. The recent shakeup to your family’s schedule caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is leading many local homeowners to realize that their water heater isn’t able to keep up with demand in the mornings.

If this is the case in your home, you should cand have one of our plumbers out to make sure your water heater is operating properly.

Rusty water

At some point in your time owning your home, you might notice that rusty water is coming out of the tap. Generally, this is due to a corroding water heater, and not issues with your pipes more generally. However, testing this hypothesis is easy: turn the tap to hot and run the equivalent of several gallons into a bucket or tub. if the rusty water is only present when running hot water, the water heater is the most likely source.

Rust and corrosion build up inside of the water heater tank as it gets colder and the sacrificial anode rod—which attracts corrosion—has been eaten away. It’s as sure a sign as any that your aging water heater needs to be replaced.

Call Allbritten for emergency plumbing repair in Fresno

If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs of impending water heater failure in your home—or need any other plumbing help—call our team. We’re here for you and your home when you need us.

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