Your hot water heaters work overtime, especially during cold months. However, many homeowners still overlook the importance of maintaining this essential equipment until a rush of cold water reminds them. The durability of your water heater tank isn’t infinite; it ages, rusts, and eventually fails.
Knowing the right time to replace your water heater can save you the inconvenience of unexpected cold showers and potential damage to your property.
If you’ve been experiencing inconsistent warm water supply or noticing puddles around your water heater tank, it’s high time you pay attention.
Are you curious about other signs that indicate a failing hot water system? Keep reading to discover when to say goodbye to your old water heater.
Water Don’t Get Hot
One of the most obvious signs you need a new water heater is when your water doesn’t get hot. The heating elements could be malfunctioning or have completely broken down, hence failing to heat water to the desired temperature.
Often, the heating element in your tank is responsible for heating water, and if it’s defective, it affects the water temperature drastically. If you’ve tried troubleshooting and the water is still not heating up, this could be a clear indication you need to replace your water heater.
Don’t ignore these signs; a failing heating element is a cue to start shopping for a new water heater.
Your Water Heater Is Over 12 Years
Do you know that the lifespan of most water heaters ranges between 8 to 12 years? But with regular maintenance, some can even last up to 15 to 20 years. This means, if your water heater is over 12 years, it might be nearing the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced.
However, a well-maintained water heater can still give you a few more years of warm, comforting showers before you need to replace the water heater. It’s always wise to stay ahead of potential breakdowns and plan for a replacement when it nears the end of its expected life.
You can also contact an experienced plumber or a water heater expert to check your water heater’s condition and provide an assessment so you can decide whether you need to replace it or not.
Rust Sediment in Your Water Tank
Since water heaters are typically metal tanks with a protective coating, rust is a common problem over time. A key sign is rusty water flowing out of your faucets. The rust could be due to a deteriorating sacrificial anode rod in your water heater.
This rod is designed to attract corrosive minerals, preventing them from rusting the tank. However, sometimes the anode rod can become so corroded that it can no longer protect the tank.
A new zinc anode rod can save your tank from further corrosion if replaced in time. Another possible cause for rusty water could be sediment buildup inside the tank. Over time, minerals from hard water accumulate at the bottom of the tank, leading to rust and impacting the performance of your water heater.
If you’ve noticed this sign, it might be time to consider a new hot water heater.
Leaking Water Heater
When water is pooling around the base of your water heater, it’s a strong indication that a replacement water heater is in your near future. Water leaks are often caused by internal issues, as the metal tank, over time, expands and contracts due to the constant heating and cooling.
This can lead to fractures in the tank, causing water to leak out. While sometimes this may just be condensation, more often than not, a leaking water heater signifies the end of the road for your water heater.
The problem can escalate if ignored, leading to more substantial leaks, water damage, and potentially even a catastrophic failure where the tank bursts. If you notice water around your heater, it’s best to call a professional immediately to assess whether the water heats suitably or if a new unit is needed.
Making Strange Noises
Most of the time, when your water heater begins to make rumbling noises, it’s a sign that there’s a problem brewing. This could be the result of sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it hardens and can cause your water heater to work harder, hence the strange noises. Additionally, these rumbling noises could signal a faulty pressure relief valve or gas valve, both of which pose a serious risk if not addressed promptly.
The pressure relief valve, for instance, could cause a dangerous buildup of pressure within the water heater tank, while a faulty gas valve could interfere with the efficient functioning of the pilot light.
In any of these cases, it’s crucial to have a professional plumber inspect your system to avoid potential safety hazards and determine whether a new water heater is required.
Requires Frequent Repairs
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the need for frequent repairs. This is a clear sign that your water heater is on its last legs. It’s a big deal because the cost of persistent repairs can quickly add up, making it less cost-effective in the long run. This is particularly true for older water heaters, which are less energy efficient and can raise your utility bills.
In such scenarios, it often makes more sense to invest in a new, more efficient unit. A new water heater will not only save you the hassle of frequent repairs, but it can also be more energy-efficient, leading to lower utility bills.
In conclusion, insufficient hot water, the life span of your water heater, recurring plumbing issues, and visible signs of deterioration are all indicators that your water heater has reached the end of its useful life.
The longevity and efficiency of water heaters can be significantly improved with timely interventions and regular maintenance by licensed plumbers.
P&L Plumbing, servicing Mesa, AZ, and surrounding areas, is committed to ensuring your hot water needs are always met.
Don’t wait for a cold shower to remind you of a problem, contact us today and ensure your hot water system is in top condition.