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Cold Winters Make a Water Heater Work Harder

Water Heater Repair Keeps Showers Hot Through the Winter

As winter closes in and temperatures get colder, people tend to increase their need for external heat sources and creature comforts. One of the best ways to heat up on a cold day is by taking a long, hot shower or bath. Unfortunately, the extra load placed on water heaters during the winter can expose their insufficiencies and leave their users out in the cold. With good maintenance practices and occasional repairs, water heaters can be expected to last for years. 

However, the water heater will fail at some point, and homeowners will be left with no option but to schedule a water heater replacement. Below are some of the signs that a water heater needs repairs or replacement to make it through the winter. 

Insufficient Hot Water Pressure

One of the main ingredients of a good shower is adequate water pressure, especially hot water pressure. As water tanks age, they can interfere with a water heater’s ability to provide hot water at sufficient pressure to give the user an enjoyable experience. When a home suffers from low hot water pressure, it means the tank is likely full of mineral scale. Mineral scale forms at the bottom of a water heater due to dissolved minerals present in the water supply. 

In a perfect world, tanks should be drained and flushed yearly to prevent the build-up of this scale. Flushing the scale from the tank prevents chunks of scale from breaking off and fouling faucets and showerheads. It also reduces the corrosive damage that can occur as a result of the scale. In many cases, low water pressure can be easily fixed by having the tank flushed and cleaning out fixtures. 

Unusual Noises Caused By Water Heaters


Other than the sound of the burner in a gas water heater, water heaters should operate with no noise, and electric water heaters should also operate silently as well unless some problem is present. Both types of water heaters can be subject to the same noises that result from the same issues, including:

  • Screeching
  • Rumbling
  • Crackling
  • Thumping

Thumping noises that are audible in a water heater mean that scale has built up near the burner or on heating elements, causing the water to boil. This leads to dramatic decreases in efficiency and a loss of hot water volume. Plumbers will need to flush the tank and replace heating elements to fix the problems. 

Inconsistent Hot Water Temperature

Nothing is more irritating than getting ready for a nice hot shower, only to have the water temperature of that shower fluctuate from scalding hot to ice cold. Fluctuating water temperatures is usually an indicator that a water tank is undersized for its application. For example, maybe other appliances are using hot water simultaneously, and the water heater can’t keep up. If this is the case, consulting a plumber to help adequately size a new tank can be extremely helpful. 


A new water heater installation is an excellent time to explore new options like high-efficiency models or tankless water heaters. Water heater installations are very fast, so they don’t leave homeowners without hot water for more than a couple of hours. After that, everyone in the home can benefit from the luxury of more hot water. 

About HomePro Plumbing

The Master Plumbers that run HomePro Plumbing have been serving homeowners with expert craftsmanship for decades. They strive to educate their customers about the best options for them while providing upfront pricing. Contact them today for water heater installation in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN.