< Go back to media room
Hot water usage

Cold Winters Mean Lots of Hot Water Usage

Water Heater Repair Can Save Your Hot Baths and Warm Hands

There’s nothing better than a hot bath on a cold winter day. There’s something very relaxing and comforting about being in a nice tub of steaming water while there’s frost on the window. But, even those who don’t like baths can enjoy a hot shower in the morning. And for washing hands, nothing but hot water will do. Cold handwashing is not only uncomfortable, but it’s also ill-advised, especially with the pandemic and flu season in full swing. 

This is why homeowners should know the signs of a failing or malfunctioning water heater. Read on to discover what to look out for this winter. 

Lacking Hot Water Pressure

One of the easiest ways to tell if something is wrong with a water heater is to pay attention to the hot water pressure throughout the home. Cold water goes into the water heater and becomes heated, then runs from the water heater to faucets throughout the home through hot water lines.

Therefore, if the cold water pressure is fine, but the hot water pressure is lacking, it could be caused by a water heater problem. A couple of things may be to blame: One is a buildup of scale in those homes with a tank-style water heater. Another is a partially-closed shutoff valve. 

Odd Sounds

noises

All water heaters make some noise in the course of normal operation. However, most water heaters are in the garage or some other out-of-the-way place. This means that most homeowners don’t really know what sounds are normal and what sounds aren’t. Here are a few of the most common worrisome water heater noises. 

Knocking happens when there’s a sediment buildup in the water heater, especially if the home has hard water. The knocking is a result of reduced water capacity in the tank. This can be remedied by having a professional plumber clear out the water heater. Whistling sounds like a tea kettle usually means a flow restriction due to a valve malfunction. Sizzling sounds could be caused by a leak in the water heater, perhaps causing water to drip onto the heating element. 

Check for signs of water leakage around the water heater and contact a plumber if homeowners see any. 

Fluctuations in Water Temperature

Lastly, fluctuations in water temperature can be a cause for concern. While small fluctuations, like when the shower gets a little bit hotter or a little cooler, are easy to shrug off, homeowners are advised not to ignore these as they can lead to dangerous situations with scalding water. The first thing homeowners should do is check the temperature gauge on the water heater. The ideal temperature is 120-degrees Fahrenheit for a water heater. 

shower

Homeowners can consider installing an emergency thermometer for older water heaters that will shut the water heater off if it gets too hot. Newer water heaters come with safety features built-in. If water heater problems continue are persistent, contact a professional plumbing company for help. 

About Knight Plumbing

The folks at Knight Plumbing have been serving Milwaukee, WI, since 2002. They offer on-time arrival of expert and trustworthy technicians. They pride themselves on excellent customer service, up-front pricing, and superb workmanship. Call Knight Plumbing today for water heater services in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.