Like any appliance, water heaters break down over time and need to be replaced. No one enjoys taking a cold shower, so ideally, you'd like to be able to replace your water heater before it completely stops working.
If you wait too long, it could lead to a much larger problem. Such as, large leaks and water damage to your home. So how do you know when it's time to replace your water heater? This article will show you 5 clues to help you decide.
The older the water heater, the more likely it is to break down. As a general rule, a tank style water heater will last, on average, 8 to 12 years. If your water heater is pushing the 10-year mark, there's a good chance it's time to replace the unit, and you may want to consider a tankless model.With proper maintenance, and a little luck, you may be able to nearly double the lifespan of your water heater. However, sometimes, even with the best of care, a water heater will need to be replaced after only a few years.Using an Aqua-Pure Scale Inhibitor can add years of service life to a water heater. These filters help protect your water heater from limescale build-up. If your old water heater doesn't have one installed, we highly recommend installing one on your new water heater.
Check your tank for rust or corrosion. Most hot water tanks are made out of steel and will eventually rust. You may even notice rust in your hot water when it's drawn from the tap. If you find rust or corrosion by the temperature and pressure relief valve, and/or the water inlet and outlet connections, it's a good indication that your tank is rusting and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, there's not a way to repair a tank once it starts to rust and corrode. If your water heater has not started to leak yet, it'll only be a matter of time before it does.Where your water heater is located within your home may determine your next step. Leaking water can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Your best option may be to replace your water right away to prevent unnecessary expenses and damage.However, if your tank is located in a garage, you may choose to wait until it begins to leak. The water damage will likely be minimal, and on a solid cement floor it should be relatively easy to clean.Another option is to use a water sensor alarm to alert you of leak. These inexpensive alarms have sensors that will tigger when they become wet. You can "buy some time" with this option and have the opportunity to plan for your water heater replacement.
However, regardless of the fuel source, sediment build-up is a problem for both electric and gas water heaters. As it accumulates, it can clog the drain valve, and over time, it will even break down the interior of the steel tank. Flushing your water heater once a year will remove the sediment and help prevent damage to the tank, as well as extend the life of your water heater. But if you're not regularly flushing your tank, the sediment will build-up and eventually cause some serious problems.
Over time, the sediment builds and settles inside the bottom of the water heater's tank. If you have a gas water heater, you may have noticed a popping sound when the burner ignites. This is an indication that there's sediment build-up.Need to hire a plumber? Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.However, regardless of the fuel source, sediment build-up is a problem for both electric and gas water heaters. As it accumulates, it can clog the drain valve, and over time, it will even break down the interior of the steel tank. Flushing your water heater once a year will remove the sediment and help prevent damage to the tank, as well as extend the life of your water heater. But if you're not regularly flushing your tank, the sediment will build-up and eventually cause some serious problems.It should be noted that in severe cases, leaks can develop when the sediment is agitated during the draining process. We recommend calling a professional plumber to assist you.There's always the possiblity that the sediment build-up may have reached a point where the tank can no longer be drained. When this is the case, it'll be necessary to replace your water heater.Need to hire a plumber? Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.However, in many cases you'll be able to unclog the drain valve. Read our article on How to Unclog the Drain Valve, we've listed 7 methods to help with this problem. One nearly sure-fire way is to use a ball valve. Since the ball valve is larger than a regular drain valve the odds are in your favor.
Clue #1: Age
Clue #1: Ag
Clue #1: Age