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8 Ways to Tell When to Replace a Hot Water Heater

By October 13, 2020 No Comments

A big part of homeownership is knowing how and when to have things repaired or replaced, and it’s no different with your water heater. A water heater that is regularly maintained can last for many years, but even with regular maintenance, a water heater will eventually break down past the point of repair. There eventually comes a time to replace a water heater with a new unit. But how do you know when it’s time to replace a hot water heater?

Here are 8 signs that it might be time:

1. A Lack of Hot Water is An Obvious Sign That It’s Time to Replace a Hot Water Heater

Have you been bracing yourself each morning for what often turns into an unexpectedly cold shower? Unless a freezing cold shower is your style, you might not care for water that starts to run cold much sooner than it used to. If you’ve been noticing that your hot water heater can no longer keep up with your regular hot water demands, it might be time to replace it.

When you quickly run out of hot water, this is sometimes due to sediment that builds up with the heater which in turn, reduces its capacity.

If your water still gets warm, but never hot, you might want to check the thermostat setting on your heater. If it’s set to lower than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, your unit might not be able to produce the hot water you desire. You can always try to bump up the thermostat a couple of degrees to see if that helps.

If you’re suddenly without any hot water at all, you’ll want to check your heater to make sure the pilot light is on. Check the circuit breaker as well to make sure your unit even has power.

If these efforts don’t work for boosting the heat, it’s time to call a professional.

2. Leaking

Have you noticed a leak coming from your water heater? If so, you’re already at a point where damage has been sustained. More likely than not, your heater has experienced some rusting which then lead to the forming of small holes.

Constant heating can also lead to leaking. When metal heats up, it expands, and after time, this can lead to small cracks inside the tank. Water can seep out of these small cracks and cause damage to the walls or floors.

If you notice moisture or a puddle around your water heater, look around and see if you can spot the source. It might be moisture building up on the fittings or overflow pipes. These can be easily repaired. But when the tank itself has been damaged, you know it’s time to replace a water heater.

3. Strange Noises

Have you been hearing weird noises coming from your water heater? This is usually a sign of a problem inside the unit itself. Sediment buildup is often to blame since it can cause damage over time, and cause the unit to run less efficiently.

4. Rust in Your Water

Ruse can build up in the water within your heater little by little. As the levels of rust get worse, it can get to the point where rust causes a leak. You might begin to see small traces of rust coming out of the water in your faucets or rusty colored water when you run the water hot.

If you’ve got rust in your water, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

5. Your Hot Water Runs Stinky

When you’re running hot water, does it emit an unusual smell? Sometimes the metal within the water heater can begin to flake off as it breaks down. These small flakes of metal can cause a metallic smell in the water which is most noticeable when the water is hot. You might also detect a faint metallic taste when you drink your water.

6. An Increasing Need for Repairs

Do you feel like you’re always calling a plumber to come by and work on your water heater? These many service calls can add up in repair costs, and before long, you’ll have paid more money to have your water heater repaired over and over than it would cost you to have the unit replaced.

7. You’ve Got an Old Unit

You can’t ever be certain how long your water heater will last, but if it’s approaching the 10-year mark, there’s a good chance that it’s creeping up on replacement time. If you can take note of signs of wear and determine how old your tank is, you can better determine if you think it’s worth the money to opt for a new water tank.

Keep in mind that larger families use more hot water which can decrease the average 10-year lifespan. Hard water can also compromise the lifespan of your water heater.

8. Rising Heating Bills

Hot water makes up a good chunk of the heating energy used in most households. If your water heater is running inefficiently due to breakdown and age, you’re probably paying more than your fair sure in utilities. Have your water heater checked by a professional to help you determine if it’s time to replace a hot water heater in your home.

Ready to Call For Professional Help?

Knowing when to replace a hot water heater is step one. Once you’ve determined that you’ve got a hot water heater problem on your hands, the next step is calling for reinforcements. That’s where we come in! Give us a call today with any questions or concerns about your water heater or to schedule an appointment for us to come and check your heater for repairs. We look forward to serving you!

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