Picture this: you’ve had a long day, and there’s nothing you’re looking forward to more than the comfort of a hot shower or bath. Unfortunately, when you turn on the tap, you’re greeted with something unexpected. Cold water, a nasty smell, or discolored water spills from the faucet instead of the clear hot water you were hoping for. 

Out of sight is often out of mind where our water heater is concerned, but these devices often give us a few warning signs when they need help. Emergency water heater repair can help fix minor issues before they snowball into major headaches, so it’s crucial to know what to look for. Here are a few red flags to be aware of with your water heater.


A leaking water heater is the most obvious sign that emergency repair services should be in your future. Whether you’ve spotted water pooling beneath your system or a subtle drip, don’t wait around! Investigating right away and contacting a pro where appropriate can help keep your system in good condition.

In some cases, leaks may happen due to a loose part you can tighten on your own. Condensation is another common culprit for false leaks, so wipe down the surface of your unit and see if the dripping stops.

If you can’t locate or address the problem, find an expert to help right away. Even small leaks can cause substantial damage over time.

Fluctuating Temperatures

Your water heater has one job: delivering hot water to your home. If it’s doing a shoddy job of it, you should always take it as a red flag. This is especially true if you can’t get hot water even after you’ve adjusted the temperature on your unit, which should sit somewhere around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Worse, water fluctuations can be more than a minor annoyance.

Sometimes, these fluctuations happen when mineral deposits accumulate in your tank. These deposits can wreak havoc on your system in more ways than one, and they can even damage your unit’s heating element. That’s why it’s crucial to contact an expert whenever you notice that your water is not getting hot.

Strange Noises

Your water heater likely makes a few quiet sounds during its usual operation as the tank fills and the heating element dials up. However, if you notice anything odd that breaks up the typical pattern of water heater noises you’re familiar with, it should be cause for alarm.

In many cases, strange noises from a water heater come from mineral deposits as well. As these deposits grow in size, they sometimes break into smaller chunks when water flows through your tank.

During your system’s operation, these chunks can float around in your system, battering themselves against the sides of your unit. As you can likely guess, this isn’t great for the interior of your water heater!

Rusty or Discolored Water

When you notice cloudy or rusty water flowing from your taps, it can come as a huge shock. You might even notice tiny, dark particles in the water as well. If this discoloration only happens when you’re turning on the hot water but never cold, the problem most likely lies with your water heater.

Discoloration can happen for a few reasons. Sometimes, certain types of mineral deposits can cause discoloration in your system. If the water appears rusty, the pipes or other metal components of your system may be damaged.

This water may not be safe to drink, though it is unlikely to be otherwise hazardous to your health. Contact emergency repair services right away to figure out what’s going on with your system.

Unpleasant Smells

The water flowing from your system should always be odorless. If you notice a strange smell, sometimes paired with cloudy water, you might be dealing with a bacterial infection somewhere in your system. The most common unwanted smell from water heater tanks is similar to a rotten egg, as sulfate bacteria are the most likely type to develop within a tank.

Sometimes, the easiest way to fix the issue is flushing your tank, a basic maintenance task you should tackle at least once a year. However, if this doesn’t get rid of the smell, avoid using your water and call a technician. A repair expert can disinfect and clean the tank, giving you access to clean water again.

Low Water Pressure

Weak pressure from your water heater is never a good sign. If the water pressure seems fine for your cold water but not the hot water, your unit may be struggling to keep up with your needs.

This can sometimes happen when mineral deposits settle and calcify around the heating element in your system. In other cases, a faulty distribution line or shoddy installation may be to blame. Getting a water heater repair expert on the scene can help you troubleshoot the problem and get a steadier amount of pressure from your hot water taps.

Little Hot Water

If your household never seems to get as much hot water as it used to, something is likely wrong with your tank. As long as your system is appropriately sized for your home and the temperature settings are correct, you shouldn’t run out of hot water from reasonable use.

Often, the problem lies with a malfunctioning heating element or burner. This can sometimes require a repair or a full water heater replacement, so work with your emergency repair technician to decide what your next steps should be.

Get Emergency Water Heater Repair Now

Whether you’re dealing with weird sounds, struggling with your water pressure and temperature, or cringing at unpleasant smells, you don’t have to suffer through hot water issues alone. Diagnosing and fixing the problem can be difficult without the right expertise, so contact a pro for immediate help.

When you’re searching for trusted local experts for your emergency water heater repair, look no further than Comfort Now Heating and Air Conditioning! We’re proud to serve homeowners throughout the Visalia area and offer 100% satisfaction guarantees on our workmanship. Contact us today to schedule your free plumbing inspection.