How to Tell When a Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced
Water heaters are such a staple of everyday life that it’s easy to take them for granted – until they stop working, that is. When the water heater goes on the fritz, homeowners are quickly reminded of how frequently they use their water heater and how essential it is for good hygiene, sanitation, comfort, and cleanliness.
So if the water heater goes out unexpectedly, waiting for it to be replaced can feel like an eternity – especially in the middle of a frigid Maryland winter. So, to avoid getting stuck without hot water, homeowners can learn how to spot the warning signs of a water heater on its last leg. Here are some easy ways for homeowners to know when it’s time for water heater replacement.
Corroded Water Heater
The first way to tell that the water heater needs replacing is if the water heater is rusted and corroded. Common signs of corrosion in the water heater are hot water that is rust-colored, murky, or cloudy, or it has a metallic smell. These issues typically indicate that the water heater tank is corroded. Conventional storage water heaters have devices called anode rods inside the tank that attract corrosive substances to prevent them from corroding the tank. However, the anode rod must be replaced periodically to provide continuous protection against corrosion.
Similarly, if sediment and minerals are allowed to build up inside the tank, it can cause temperature issues and damage the tank’s glass inner liner, exposing the tank to corrosion. This is why regular water heater maintenance is so vital for the health and longevity of the unit. Unfortunately, water heater corrosion is generally regarded as the kiss of death – a corroded hot water tank is corrupted and will lead to leaks if not replaced.
A Lack of Hot Water
One sign of a faulty water heater that will come as no surprise to anyone is a loss of hot water. Whether the shower never gets hot, water comes out cold or lukewarm when the hot water tap is open, or the hot water doesn’t last as long as it used to, a lack of hot water is a sure sign there’s something wrong with the water heater, and it may need to be replaced.
There are several possible causes of hot water loss in storage and tankless water heaters. These include dirty gas burners, malfunctioning heating elements, sediment buildup in the tank, a broken heat exchanger, a faulty thermocouple, and faulty wiring – to name a few. In some cases, homeowners may simply need water heater repair or maintenance to get things back to normal. However, depending on the issue, its severity, and the age of the unit, replacing the water heater may be necessary.
The Water Heater Is Near the End of Its Life or Needs Repairs Often
Lastly, the age of the water heater may be reason enough to replace it – particularly if it acts up or needs to be repaired often. A typical storage water heater’s life expectancy is 10–15 years, while a tankless water heater’s life expectancy is around 20 years. If the unit is nearing those ages, it’s best to replace it before it breaks down and leaves the home without hot water. Newer water heaters are much more energy efficient than older models, so a water heater upgrade can help reduce water heating costs.
Another reason to replace a water heater is if it requires more frequent repairs and service visits to stay in good working order. Not only is it inconvenient to constantly have to deal with water heater issues, but shelling out for repairs over and over again can add up over time. If it gets to the point where homeowners have to call for water heater repair every year for an older unit, they’re better off investing in a new water heater. Homeowners can consult a plumber to see whether a water heater replacement is best.
About Heidler, Inc.
Heidler, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business serving Annapolis and the surrounding areas. They offer dependable, flat rates, live assistance, and preventative maintenance agreements. Call them today for water heater installation or repair in Annapolis, MD.