Though water heaters are typically quite durable appliances, there inevitably comes a time when your heater needs to be replaced. If you ignore an outdated or broken water heater, you can end up dealing with a lot of hassle, stress, and even property damage. To make sure that you get reliable, hot water on-demand, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs your water heater needs replacing.
Your Water Heater Is Leaking
One of the most important things to look for is signs of leaking. Water heater tanks are typically made of steel and start to erode over time. This eventually can cause large leaks to develop. If you notice any standing puddles around your heater or water dripping from your heater, you need to address it immediately.
Usually, a leaking tank is not a sign that you should repair your heater. If your tank has corroded enough to leak, the metal is usually too fragile to fix. Instead, you will need to replace your heater altogether. It’s important to act fast if you see any leaks because it could otherwise lead to major water damage in your home.
You Aren’t Getting Any Truly Hot Water
Does the water coming from your hot water tap feel tepid, lukewarm, or even cool? When your water heater isn’t heating water, you’ll need to have a professional take a close look at it. In some cases, the issue might be something simple that can be fixed by just replacing a part or relighting a pilot light.
However, if the problem is something big like a cracked heating element, you might want to consider replacement instead. Replacing a broken water heater ensures you get a brand-new, fully functional water heater instead of paying money to fix a machine that is already reaching the end of its lifespan. Usually, if the cost of repairs is more than half the cost of a new machine, you’ll be better off replacing your water heater.
Rusty Water Is Coming Out of Your Taps
Another common sign that it’s almost time to replace your hot water heater is rust coming out of your taps. Typically, this will cause your water to look orange, red, brown, or yellow, and it will only occur when your hot water is running. Rusty water indicates that your water heater is starting to corrode.
If this problem is caught early on, it might just mean it’s time to replace the anode rod inside your water heater. However, if you’ve had rusty water for a while and haven’t replaced the rod, corrosion has been gradually eating away at the interior of your tank. Not only does this contaminate your hot water with rust, but it also makes the metal of the tank more fragile. Even if your tank isn’t leaking yet, corrosion makes it a lot more likely to happen in the future. It might be smart to go ahead and replace the unit before you end up with a major leak.
You’re Hearing Strange Noises
If your water heater is on the older side, it probably has some sediment in the bottom of the tank. Though a small amount of sediment is normal, it can cause problems if it builds up too much. After years of collecting sediment, the debris at the bottom of the tank starts to harden. When your water heater turns on, it can cause the sediment to move in unpredictable ways and create rumbling and banging sounds.
Though the sediment itself isn’t dangerous, it does indicate a couple of problems that might mean it’s time for a replacement. First of all, the buildup can make your water heater less efficient. Secondly, that much trapped sediment is simply an indication your tank is older. If your tank is so old that it has layers of sediment, it is probably reaching the end of its lifespan and will need to be replaced soon.
Hot Water Isn’t Lasting as Long as It Used To
Have you noticed that your hot water used to last through several showers in a row but now starts cooling after 20 minutes of use? If your water heater cannot seem to keep water warm for as long as it used to, you need to get your system checked out. Typically, a decrease in the amount of hot water your appliance can provide means that your heating element is failing.
It’s normal for water heaters to gradually lose some heating capacity as they age. However, this also means your machine has reduced efficiency, so you have to spend more money to heat your water. If your heater can no longer keep water warm for a reasonable amount of time, you need to replace it with a new heater that works properly.
Your Heater Is More Than 15 Years Old
The lifespan for the average hot water heater is somewhere between 10 and 15 years. After this, your water heater is far more likely to break down. If your heater is more than 15 years old, it’s a good idea to start looking for a replacement. This lets you go ahead and get a new heater before your current one breaks.
Upgrading an outdated heater also provides a lot of energy savings. Older water heaters were far less efficient than modern designs. By replacing your obsolete heater, you can use far less energy to heat your water and save on utility bills.
You’re Constantly Running Out of Hot Water
Keep in mind that a broken water heater isn’t the only reason to replace your heater. Sometimes, your current water heater simply cannot keep up with your family’s needs. If you regularly find yourself taking cold showers or only having cold water to wash dishes, it’s time for a new water heater.
Typically, this happens when your family gains new members or moves into a home that used to only house a few occupants. Many homes default to a 40-gallon or 50-gallon water heater. While this is fine for two to four people, it doesn’t suit every family’s needs. Instead of dealing with the hassle of an undersized tank, it’s often easier to upgrade to a larger heater.
You’re Dissatisfied With Your Current Type of Heater
The final reason to replace your water heater is simply that you aren’t happy with it anymore. Water heaters come in a variety of styles, and if you don’t like your current one, it’s worth looking into a replacement. The most common change that homeowners make is switching from a tank heater to a tankless one. Tankless water heaters only warm water on demand, so they’re far more energy efficient. You might also want to consider a change if you’re interested in switching from gas to electric or vice versa. Some homeowners may feel uncomfortable with gas and want more reliable electric power, and other homeowners might want the affordability of a gas water heater.
If it’s time for your water heater to be replaced, Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to assist you. Our team can help you choose a model and ensure your new water heater is installed perfectly. In addition to water heater installs, we also help Norcross residents with a variety of other HVAC and plumbing services such as AC repairs, sewer replacements, and toilet installations. Call Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule your next appointment.