Skip navigation

Serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Serving Fairfax and Loudoun Counties and the
surrounding area

Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm | Saturday 8:00am - 1:00pm. CALL FOR EMERGENCIES


Serving Maryland, Virginia,
and Washington, D.C.

Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Serving Fairfax and Loudoun
Counties and the surrounding area

24 Hour Emergency Services, 7 Days a Week

Home of Mr. Heat Pump

B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service Blog

Water Heater In Trouble? 5 Signs That Will Tell You


You don’t want a water heater failure to sneak up on you. There are few problems more irritating and uncomfortable than to wake up in the morning, head off to get a warm shower, and then discover the water won’t heat up because something has gone wrong with the water heater.

Fortunately, water heater malfunctions rarely strike without some warnings. If you know what to watch and listen for, you’ll be able to call us for Washington, DC water heater repairs before you’re stuck with a freezing cold shower in the morning—and all the other problems you’ll have to deal with when your house loses its source of hot water. Below we’ve listed five signs of impending water heater repairs.

#1 – Kettling

Kettling refers to a popping sound from the tank of a water heater, which sounds a bit like water bubbling in a kettle. Kettling usually means the water heater has a layer of sediment along the bottom of the tank that’s trapping a layer of water between the sediment and the heat exchanger. The water in the trapped layer bubbles up through the sediment and creates the kettling sounds. Too much sediment will harm a heater’s energy efficiency and lead to a loss of heating power. Kettling can also come from overheating in the boiler or a broken dip tube. Call technicians to find out what’s happening. 

#2 – Any indications of leaks

A water heater will leak out a tiny bit of water from a pressure relief valve—but that’s all you should see. If you notice water starting to pool around the tank, or moisture developing along the tank surface, don’t ignore it! No matter how “small” the leak may seem, it’s a major problem and needs to be addressed ASAP.

#3 – Rising heating costs

The water heater accounts for the largest amount of a home’s heating budget for the year. When heating costs begging to rise rapidly, it can warn that the water heater is straining to do its job. This puts it in more danger of failing in the future, so have a water heater professional investigate it. 

#4 – Discoloration in water from the hot water taps

You’re familiar with the discoloration from pipes that haven’t been used in a few weeks, such as when you come home after a vacation and turn on a sink faucet. This is normal and goes away quickly. But if you see this discoloration start to appear in your hot water, it’s a huge warning that there’s corrosion in the water heater. This might even be warning you that the water heater must be replaced. 

#5 – Hot water running out early

You’re still getting hot water, but not as much as you used to. People in the house aren’t all getting hot showers in the morning. This loss of hot water volume can point to numerous problems with the water heater, and you’ll want to have experts check the system out as soon as possible. 

B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service: We are always there when you need us. Call 2/47 when you need water heater repair service.

Comments are closed.