Sullivan Plumbing | Emergency Plumbing Services | Tankless Water Heaters and Drain Cleaning | Bellingham and Whatcom County

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Jan 17, 2018

Signs That Tell You: "It's Time To Replace That Water Heater"

Your water heater is one of the most used appliances in your home. It keeps your body clean and lets you soak your troubles away in a warm bath. It assists in cleaning your dishes and scrubbing your counters. Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever and for most homeowners having their water heater fail is not a planned event.

But fear not, there are signs that the water heater will usually give you before they fail completely giving you some time to have a controlled water heater replacement date. Here are some early signs to look out for:

Your water heater is so old you can’t remember when it was last replaced
A traditional water heater in Bellingham or Ferndale will last between ten and fourteen years without annual flushing. If there is an installation sticker on the water heater it should have the date listed on when it was last installed. If there is no sticker the manufactured date can be determined thru your water heaters serial number. Most manufacturers have the serial number search thru the warranty button and this will give you the manufactured date. Or just call Sullivan Plumbing and the dispatch department would be happy to assist you. If your tank is older than ten years we highly recommend planning on a water heater replacement.

A mystery water spot at the base of your water heater
Most water heaters will weep a little water from a pinhole in the tank. It is a good idea to take a look at the top and bottom of your water heater once a month to discover the signs your water heater is giving you before a small pinhole becomes a large crack. If you see signs of water, call a plumber so they can determine if it is the tank starting to fail or maybe just a pipe leak above the tank.

Rusty water coming out of the hot water only
This is a sign that your lining or coating on the inside of your water heater has been compromised. This allows water to directly contact the steel inner tank and a leak is soon to come. It is time to schedule a water heater replacement.

Banging or popping inside the water heater
Over time a water heater builds a layer of debris on the base of inner tank causing heat transfer resistance. When the water heater attempts to heat the water it fights the debris layer until it “pops” free from the tank wall. On electric water heaters the build-up usually burns out the lower element causing an “extremely hot water, then no hot water” condition. The water heater may be suitable for flushing the debris out depending on its age.

If you have any questions about his subject or any plumbing questions please email me:

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Sullivan Plumbing, Don Dawson Owner Plumber

Sullivan Plumbing has serviced Whatcom County since 1966.

You are Number 1 in our business! Our business has grown from your referrals and your repeat business! Your technicians from Sullivan Plumbing have received the latest training in the appliance installed by them. Sullivan Plumbing trucks are fully stocked for repairs so there is no paying the plumber to run to the supply house unless it is a speciality item.

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Phone: 360-734-6440


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