A water heater is among the major or most important appliances in your home. When the water heater is in good working condition, you can enjoy a hot shower even when it's chilly. However, having a water heater that has stopped working can be very inconvenient, disruptive, and frustrating. In fact, it can interrupt your dish-washing, laundry, and bathing schedules in a big way. 

But no matter your efforts to ensure the water heater is efficient and reliable, it will sometimes develop problems and fail when you need it most. If you intend to use the heater for a long time, you should notice when it has developed problems and contact a professional in water heater services to repair it in good time. Here's how you know your water heater is failing and needs the attention of a professional.

1. The Water Heater Doesn't Release Hot Water

An efficient water heater shouldn't release lukewarm water. If it does, then something is wrong with it, and an expert should inspect it to identify the problem. In most cases, you may not get hot water from the heater if someone has accidentally interfered with the temperature settings or has changed the settings to a low or vacation mode. The water getting into the tank could be cold if it's extremely cold outside. 

But if none of these has happened and you still can't get hot water, then the appliance may have developed a serious problem. For instance, the burner or other elements could be faulty. In this case, contact a professional to inspect the appliance and fix the problem.

2. The Appliance Is Making Unusual Noises

Even though your water heater doesn't run silently, you can always tell when it's making some unusual noises. Any time you hear some strange noises from the appliance, it has developed a problem that an expert needs to fix. For instance, the appliance will make odd noises if sediment accumulates at the bottom. And once the sediment is exposed to heat for a while, it hardens. 

The hardened sediment can then cause damage to several components of the water heater and compromise its performance in a big way. When this happens, you will likely hear some rumbling or clanging noises from the appliance — a sign that it needs an expert to service it.

3. You Get Rusty Water

Rust also indicates that your water heater isn't in good shape. When you see rusty water around the appliance, get an expert to inspect it from the inside. Rusty water indicates that the water could be creeping in areas it shouldn't. If you neglect the rust-problem, then the water tank could soon corrode or fail. So get a plumber to assess whether the pipes are rusted or if only the water heater tank is corroded, and decide how the problem will be fixed.

You will also know the appliance is faulty or failing when you notice other signs such as leakages or fluctuating temperatures. However, getting timely water heater services or repairs will help get the appliance back to its normal working condition, extend its lifespan, and even prevent it from failing completely.

Contact a company like Wild West Plumbing to learn more.