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Main Stream Mechanical October 2017 Blog Water in Basement

Signs That Your Water Heater May Be Going

You depend on your water heater to deliver hot water for cleaning and bathing. Until that moment--when your heater breaks down and floods your basement. Luckily, your water heater doesn’t have to take you by surprise. In this month’s blog, the professionals at Main Stream Mechanical share signs that your water heater may be going.

The Winter Water Heater Watch

In the winter months, cold air temperatures contrasted with hot tank water can cause your metal unit to expand and contract frequently. Sudden expansion and contraction weaken the metal frame of your water heater, causing holes or cracks. If your heater is located in an unheated space, check on your hot water appliance frequently for any structural damage.

Your Water Heater May Be Going If...

In addition to your winter heater checks, periodic monitoring of your heater throughout the year will help you identify other signs that your water heater may be going. Simple observations can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches:

Main Stream Mechanical October 2017 Blog Water Heater with Rusty Water


  • Are there any new drips or puddles of water around your heater? If so, an internal operational failure has occurred and needs to be addressed by a licensed plumbing technician.
  • For gas heaters, the color of the flame should be blue. A blue flame indicates the fuel to air ratio is correct. A yellow flame means there is no air getting to the flame. It is smart to have your water heater checked by a licensed professional.
  • Muddy faucet water means there are high levels of mineral sediment and scale build-up in your tank. This build-up makes it harder for your system to operate and leads to an overworked heater. If your tank is corroded, you may notice rusty water coming from your faucets or shower-head. When corrosion develops, hardware becomes compromised and tanks crack.


  • If your water has a metallic taste, it’s a sign your water heater may be going. If you notice a change in the taste of your water, a licensed plumber can determine if it’s due to a performance issue, or a change in the mineral content of your water.


  • Check the hot water temperature from your faucet or showerhead. Does it feel too hot or too cold? Is the hot water flowing through the faucet or shower-head too quickly? Noticeable changes in the water can be signs that your water heater may be going.


  • When your water heater ages, sediment settles and builds up along the bottom and on the heating elements of the tank. This hardened sediment forces your water heater to work harder to heat the water, and that can lead to a quick expansion of your tank. This rapid expansion produces a loud rumbling or banging noise. Rumbling from your water heater, and the presence of small leaks are signs that your water heater may be going.

Extend The Life Of Your Water Heater - Contact Us!

    1. Check and replace the anode rod. The anode rod is a long metal rod that extends into your water heater tank. The purpose of this rod is to attract corrosive particles so they attack the rod and not the water heater. The rod itself is eaten away in this process and when it’s whittled down, there is nothing stopping those particles from moving on to attack the tank. The lifespan of an anode rod is also shortened if you have a water softening system.
    2. Flush your water heater tank to determine if the problem is in your water heater and not your piping. If the drained water is rust-colored, your water heater is rusting out. Once the corrosion begins, it will progress until the integrity of the tank fails completely.
    3. Install a water sensor. More advanced systems can switch off your main water supply into the heater if it detects water somewhere it shouldn’t be. That way, your home is afforded more protection if something goes wrong when you’re not there. This is especially important if you travel or your home is unoccupied for lengthy periods of time.

Water Heater Installation and Service in Massachusetts and Southern NH

If you see signs that your water heater may be going, but aren’t certain, then a maintenance appointment with the professionals at Main Stream Mechanical can help you diagnose the problem and set your mind at ease. When you schedule a service call, the licensed and insured professionals from Main Stream Mechanical will get your water heater operating at peak performance. For all your water heater, plumbing, heating, and generator needs; as well as plumbing and heating maintenance, service, and repair, we are your go-to provider! And, don't forget we install all kinds of residential and commercial heating and HVAC systems. In Haverhill, Amesbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Topsfield, Boxford, and other locations across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, call our expertly trained technicians today at (978) 834-0849 or send us a message through our contact formSee our full-service area list for towns not noted.

For all your home and commercial water heater service needs, or to receive a no-obligation consultation, contact us today!

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