It never fails. As soon as people find out I’m a plumber in NYC, they start asking me questions about their water heater. Water heaters are apparently the most mysterious device known to mankind. There’s an almost universal tendency to take water heaters for granted. Most people never think about their water heater until it stops working.
Here’s the thing: water heater failure can be gradual or sudden. Sudden water heater failure is easy to diagnose. You will have absolutely no hot or even warm water. Believe me, the water coming into your home is generally pretty chilly. It’s not going to get any warmer sitting in a non-functioning water heater tank!
Gradual water heater failure is more common. The expected useful life of a water heater depends on several variables. While most water heaters last for decades, those that are called upon regularly to deliver a high volume of hot water, those stored in poor environmental conditions, and those that have manufacturing flaws or defects can fail far sooner.
Signs that your water heater is failing can include some or all of the following:
Intermittent hot water delivery: sometimes you get hot water, sometimes you don’t. A shower can start off comfortably steamy and suddenly turn ice cold.
Water doesn’t get as hot as it used to: no matter what temperature settings you have in place, the water only gets lukewarm.
Water takes forever to heat up: if your roommate takes a shower, you know you’re not going to be able to take one yourself for several hours.
Puddles appear around your water heater: if the tank is compromised & water is coming out of your water heater, you need to call your 24 hour plumber in NYC right away. This is a potentially dangerous situation and you don’t want to delay!