Without a properly working water heater, you won't be able to adequately wash your dishes or take a hot shower. Even if you keep up with regular maintenance, your water heater isn't designed to last forever. Keep an eye out for the following six signs that reveal it's time to start shopping for a new water heater.
1. Old Age
You can expect the average tank-style water heater to last between 8 and 12 years, with a tankless water heater unit holding on about 20 years. If your water heater is reaching the later ends of these numbers, you'll want to consider replacing it.
By this time, your warranty will have expired, and any repairs would not extend the life of the unit for long. The water heater will also cease to be energy efficient at that point, which means you will have to pay higher energy bills.
2. Hissing or Popping Noises
A good indicator is wrong with your water heater is when the unit begins to become noisy. This is typically caused when minerals have built up over time between the heating elements and when sediment has hardened at the bottom of your tank. Once you hear the noises, you'll also start to notice the tank is taking longer to heat up the water, which means it isn't running at peak efficiency.
Every so often, look at the area surrounding the bottom of your water heater. If you spot a puddle of water, your tank probably has a leak. A leak requires your immediate attention, as it reveals a problem on the inside of your unit.
Always follow proper safety precautions when removing the damaged water heater, such as turning off the electric or gas first and then waiting for the water in the tank to fully cool down.
4. Rust-Colored Water
Your water should always run clear. If you spot rust-colored water coming from your faucet when you have the hot water running, you've got a problem with your water heater.
Although you can see rust-colored water from galvanized piping that has rusted on the inside, the discolored water is most likely caused by a water heater that has rusted internally. In the future, you can protect your unit by adding a magnesium, zinc, or aluminum anode rod to the tank.
5. No More Hot Water
As soon as you notice your water heater is no longer producing hot water, you need to check the pilot light. If the pilot light is still lit and hasn't gone out, your water heater has probably run its course. Units are unable to produce hot water when sediment buildup has accumulated so much that it separates the water from the unit's heat sources. The sediment will need to be flushed or the unit completely replaced.
6. Constant Repairs
Just like any other home appliance, the need for constant repairs suggests the unit is better off being replaced. You could end up spending more money having the water heater fixed repeatedly than you would simply by purchasing a new unit that is sure to run smoothly for years to come. A new unit won't need as many repairs and can lower your energy bills because of its increased efficiency.
If your water heater shows any of the above signs, contact Accurate Plumbing for an estimate on a new unit. Our company is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, and our expert staff is ready to assist you in all of your residential plumbing needs. When your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced, we can help.