With regular upkeep and repairs, your water heater can last for many years. However, even the most meticulous maintenance won’t promise you endless decades of use from your system. Sooner or later, every water heater needs to be replaced.
There are many indications that your hot water heater is no longer working properly. Some issues are easily fixable while others indicate it’s time for a replacement. This guide will help you assess your situation and determine whether it’s time to replace your hot water heater.
5 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater
Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever. When yours starts experiencing problems, you might be hopeful that you can get away with only paying for a few inexpensive repairs. However, if your system was manufactured close to a decade ago, you might not be so lucky.
How often you replace a water heater can depend on a few factors. These tips should give you an idea of when to change a water heater.
- Water Heater Is Too Old
- Water Heater Is Leaking
- Water Discoloration
- Water Heater Making Noise
- Water Heater Not Heating
Keep in mind that not all these signs are a definite indication that it’s time to replace your water heater. You should consult a professional before making any decisions. Experienced plumbers can usually determine whether a repair is worth it.
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1. Your Water Heater Is Too Old
Most water heaters last on average of 8-10 years, with the exception of gas water heaters, which typically last 6-8 years. While many water heaters can last up to ten years, issues can arise at any time requiring you to get a replacement.
How Often Should a Water Heater Be Replaced?
Issues or not, you should replace your water heater no more than ten years after its manufacture date.
In some cases, you can extend the life of your water heater with a simple repair. Parts that are replaceable include:
- Heating elements
2. Your Water Heater Is Leaking
A leaking water heater is cause for concern. Leaks can be the result of pressure buildup inside your tank, which can be caused by high water pressure, high temperature or a faulty relief valve. You should always take care of a leak as soon as possible. Not fixing a leak could lead to a tank explosion.
Does a Leaking Water Heater Need to Be Replaced?
Not necessarily. Some water heater leaks can be repaired. For example, if the leak is the result of a faulty seal around the drain spigot, you can get away with replacing a single part as opposed to the entire unit.
Some warning signs of leaks are water corrosion on the side of your tank, and/or puddles or moisture around the heater’s base. If you suspect a leak, contact a plumber immediately to avoid additional complications.
3. Water Discoloration
If you start to notice discolored water coming out of the faucet, it’s probably time to get a new water heater. Water with a reddish-brown tint or metallic odor can be an indicator of your water heater starting to rust due to corrosion. If this is the case, corroded tanks should be replaced as soon as possible. Rusting can occur in old tanks as well as those that are only 8-10 years old.
There are a few other potential causes of water discoloration. Corroded plumbing can also be the culprit, as well as issues with the public water supply. Both problems are serious but replacing your water heater won’t solve them.
To determine if your water heater is the source of the discoloration, all you must do is turn on your cold water tap. If your cold water is also discolored, your hot water heater probably isn’t responsible. Although, if the cold water is clear and only the hot water is discolored, your water heater should probably be replaced.
4. Water Heater Noise
Another sure sign of a failing water heater is noise coming from the tank. Loud noises coming from your water heater tank may indicate sediment buildup. The noise is due to the sediment hardening over time and moving around the water heater tank. If nothing is done to prevent this buildup, a leak may occur.
To prevent sediment buildup, flush your water heater regularly to clear out deposits from the tank. Otherwise, it might be time for a hot water heater replacement.
5. Water Heater Not Heating
Every household needs hot water, whether it be for taking showers, washing your hands, doing the laundry, or using your dishwasher. So, when your hot water is not working, you’ll want to get it taken care of right away.
Does Your Hot Water Heater Need to Be Fixed or Replaced?
If your water heater is less than eight years old, you may not need to replace it just yet. Unheated water can also be the result of a broken heating element or a thermostat that just needs to be readjusted. Check your electrical thermostat settings and make sure the temperature lies between 120 and 140 degrees.
If a broken heating element is the cause for cold water, (a heating element is a part that converts electrical energy into heat through the process of Joule heating) a plumber can repair this, and you’ll have hot water back in no time.
URETEK Gulf Coast Offers Plumbing Services in Greater Houston
The day will come when it’s finally time to replace your water heater. If any of these signs sound familiar, it might be time to call your trusted plumber.
With over 30 years of industry experience, URETEK ICR Gulf Coast operates with attention to detail and service, and with the expertise to tackle large-scale projects.
Contact us today to learn more about our plumbing repair solutions that keep budgets in line while ensuring many years of reliable service.