Like most of the appliances in your home, water heaters do not last forever. They are prone to breaking down and can cause significant problems if left untreated.
Failing to replace your water heater when the time comes can lead to higher water bills. It can also bring about water damage to your home as well as provide your faucets with inconsistent temperatures.
Although it may seem like an expensive burden to have to replace your water heater, you can rest easy knowing that you will be saving money in the long run.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through the 5 signs that will let you know when to replace a water heater.
Water Puddling Around Water Heater
If you notice water around your water heater or if any water is leaking out, you want to call a plumber immediately. You should take care of the problem before any major water damage takes place. In the United States, the average cost to repair water damage is $2,700. And that’s if you catch it early enough.
Water damage can also cause mold growth in the home. This can lead to respiratory problems for your family members. It will also come with expensive repair costs.
Water damage can rot your drywall as well. Be sure to turn off the power wherever the water is because it can also start fires if it reaches your electrical outlets.
Look out for small cracks in your water heater. As the metal gets hot, it will expand and water can leak out of those fractures. When it cools back down, the metal will constrict and may stop leaking.
Before ordering a replacement water heater, check for other leaks that might be coming from any of the connections or fittings to the tank. Also, check to ensure that water isn’t leaking from the temperature/pressure overflow pipe. If all of those connections are dry, it is probably time to swap out your water heater.
A major sign that it is time to replace your water heater is if muddy or rusty water is coming out of your faucet when you turn on the hot water. This means that the inside of your water heater is beginning to deteriorate.
As your water heater continues to corrode, rust will start to form around the water supply lines, drain valve, temperature and pressure relief valve, or the seams of your tank.
Most water heaters last about 10-13 years. Some solar powered water heating systems can last up to 20 years.
As your water heater approaches the 10-year mark, it would be wise to start looking into replacements. It is inadvisable to wait until the appliance actually breaks down before you start the replacement process.
Unsure how old your water heater is? Check for the water heater’s serial number. This code is made up in part by the date of manufacture. But keep in mind it won’t look like the standard way dates are written.
The serial number starts with a letter. Wherever that letter falls in the alphabet, that represents the number month. For example, if the serial number is “B06216479”, then the water heater was manufactured in the month of February because B is the second letter in the alphabet and February is the second month of the year.
After the letter, check the first two digits of the serial number. In this example, they are 06. This is the year the water heater was manufactured. 06 is shorthand for 2006. So that means that February 2006 was when this water heater was manufactured.
Although all of the manufacturers use similar date codes, they each vary slightly. Check the manufacturer’s website to get full clarification on how to read their serial numbers.
As time goes on, sediment will accumulate at the bottom of your water tank. As the water continues to heat and reheat, naturally occurring minerals such as magnesium and calcium form into bits of sediment.
A tell-tale sign that you have sediment buildup is when you hear popping or rumbling sounds coming from your water heater when it is running. As time goes on, that sediment will harden and cause a lot of problems.
Your water heater will have to work harder to provide you with hot water, thus raising your energy bill. The temperature of the water itself may also oscillate from warm to very hot.
Problems will only get worse if left untreated. When you hear that rumbling sound coming from your water heater, it is probably time for a replacement.
Fluctuating Water Temperature
If the water temperature in your home is fluctuating, it can mean sediment buildup, as previously stated. It can be for a variety of other reasons too – a big one being that your water heater is simply failing.
If your hot water does not last as long as it used to, this is another sign that it could be time for a replacement.
When to Replace a Water Heater
If you are wondering when to replace a water heater, see if you are experiencing any of the issues listed above. If so, it is most likely time for a replacement.
Remember that the longer you wait to make the swap, the worse the problems are going to get and the more money you will have to spend later on.
Are you looking to replace your water heater? Contact us today for a free quote!