Unless you enjoy cold showers, it’s important to keep your home water heater serviced and up to date. Just like any household appliance, your hot water heater can wear out over time and will eventually require repair or replacing. But how can you tell when your water heater is due to be replaced? There are a few signs to look out for that indicate your water heater may be about to break down and is due for a replacement.
Your Water Heater Is Getting Old
According to water heater manufacturers, most tank type heaters last between 8-12 years. Regular maintenance provided by you or from a qualified plumber can help to prolong the lifespan of your water heater and increase your heater’s efficiency. However, eventually age will catch up with your tank type water heater and cause it to fail. Rather than being left with a costly plumbing emergency, it can help to be proactive about replacing it. Calling your plumber for an inspection before your old water heater fails can help avoid disaster. This allows you to establish the current status of your water heater and consider what options you have.
When replacing your tank type water heater, consider choosing a tankless water heater. They offer on demand hot water and can be a wise choice as they help to conserve energy while also lasting longer. Many tankless water heater manufacturers even offer a lifetime warranty on leaks from the heater.
You Experience The Same Problems Repeatedly
Water too hot or too cold, not enough hot water, or no hot water at all? These are all warning signs of issues with your water heater. Troubleshooting and servicing your water heater can help to correct or prevent some common water heater troubles. But if the same problem crops up again and again, your water heater is probably due for a replacement.
Your first step should be identifying the source of the problem. If the issue is rust/corrosion, sediment buildup, thermostat malfunction or bacteria build up, you may be able to correct the issue with the help of a licensed plumber. However, if the same issue recurs, or becomes so serious it is difficult or expensive to repair, it may be more advantageous and economical to just replace the water heater. This is especially true if your heater is over 8 years old and probably due for a replacement anyway.
If your water heater consistently runs out of hot water, an alternate problem to consider is whether your hot water tank capacity is large enough for your needs. Perhaps your needs, or your family, have grown since the water heater was installed? In this case, replacement will also be the only option for getting a water heater that meets your needs.
Your Water Heater Is Leaking
If water is leaking out of your tank style water heater, repair is not usually possible. However, there are some diagnostics that can help you establish where the leak is coming from to determine if it can be repaired. First, check the hoses and connections around the water heater tank to establish whether any of these are leaking. You can also check if any outlets or valves are open. If it seems like the leak is coming from the tank itself, your water heater will most likely need to be replaced. Turn off your water and power supply and call your local plumber to check your diagnosis. Your plumber can safely replace the water heater if necessary.
Knowing the right time to replace your water heater can help you avoid serious complications and plumbing emergencies, as can proactive maintenance to keep it in good shape as long as possible. Keep an eye on the age of your water heater, and contact Magnificent Plumbing and Rooter if you suspect your water heater might be due for a replacement.