A well-functioning water heater is a must for any home and business. A water heater that’s not in top working condition can disturb your daily routine and disrupt business operations, plus cause thousands of dollars of water damage to your home or business. If you’re suspecting your house or business is experiencing water heater problems, look for these telltale signs to know when to get an SLO plumber involved.

Signs of Water Heater Problems

1.You’re noticing noise.

A well-functioning water heater shouldn’t make noise. If you’re hearing rumbling, banging, loud cracks or pops from your water heater, that is a sign of a problem. These sounds are usually an indicator that you have sediment, build-up and deposits in your water heater.

2. Your water isn’t hot enough.

If your hot water heater isn’t producing hot water, you have a problem. First, check if your pilot light is out or if the circuit breaker tripped. If those are working fine, you can assume that the problem lies with the actual water heater.

Even if you notice your water heater isn’t producing consistent temperatures, this is a sign that your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced.

3. Your water looks, smells or tastes funny.

Muddy water is another indicator of an unhealthy water heater. Sometimes, sediment or build-up occurs inside the heater and pollutes your water. It can also affect the taste—if your water suddenly has a metallic taste or starts to smell off, you should consider having a professional assess your water heater for problems.

4. You spot leaks.

Leaks are never a good sign. Leaks can occur in weak or deteriorated areas and can come from one of lines or from the actual water tank. If you see water around your heater, contact a professional to assess the situation and avoid serious water damage.

Fixing Water Heater Problems

If you are seeing any signs of water heater problems in your home or business, call an SLO County Plumber immediately. A certified plumber should be able to assess the cause of the leak and recommend either a repair (if the leak is found in one of the lines) or a replacement (if the leak if coming from the actual water tank).

Avoiding Water Heater Problems

The best way to avoid water heater problems is to perform routine checks, both in the short-term and long-term.

Short-term (every two months):

  • Inspect for leaks
  • Check if valves easily open or close
  • Check joints for corrosion


  • Flush water heater (every 6 months)
  • Check anode rod (once a year; only after you’ve owned your water heater for a few years)

Other preventive measures

  • Be on the look-out for any smell of a gas leak
  • Keep flammable objects away from your water heater


Learn more about our residential water heater repair and replacement services.

See more on commercial water heater repair and replacement for businesses.

Contact SLO County Plumbing for emergency water heater and replacement services in San Luis Obispo.


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  • (805) 543-7586
(805) 543-7586