Common Signs It’s Time for Water Heater Replacement

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

water heater corrosionThe 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

cold shower 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

Distribution Links +

Signs of Heater Malfunction Homeowners Should Never Ignore

Solve These Heater Issues Quickly

Winter is almost here, whether people like it or not. The days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are getting colder. Homeowners need to prepare themselves and their homes for the coming months. As the fall turns into winter, now is the best time to make sure everything is running as it should to keep the home comfortable throughout the winter. 

The heater is one of the most significant components of the HVAC system and is used constantly during the winter. It’s critical to inspect the home’s heater to make sure it’s ready to take on the responsibility of keeping the house cozy indoors when the temperature drops below freezing. Homeowners should also keep a close eye out for the common signs of heater malfunction. 

Heater Blowing Cold Air

The purpose of the heater is to produce and distribute warm air through the house. Therefore, if the heater can no longer do this and starts blowing cold air instead of warm air, this is a clear sign of heater malfunction. There are a few things homeowners should check when this happens. 

  • Take a look at the thermostat. If it’s set too low, cold air will start blowing instead of warm air. Luckily, this is an easy one to fix.
  • See if the air filters need changing. If the air filters are too dirty, this could be preventing warm air from being distributed throughout the house.
  • Check the pilot light. If the pilot light is broken or has a yellow flame instead of a blue flame, this could be causing the cold air as well. 

Odd Noisesfrightened man

When the heater is experiencing a problem, it’s great at communicating that problem to the homeowner. If it isn’t blowing cold air to tell the homeowner that something is wrong, it might start making loud, unusual noises instead.

  • Scraping and grinding noises typically signal that something is wrong with the blower wheel. Old age or wear and tear may be causing the component to malfunction, and it likely needs replacing.
  • For gas furnaces, banging noises are another typical sound of heater malfunction. When the gas burner is too dirty, it delays the ignition. All of that gas starts to build up over time, and when the burners finally ignite, it results in a loud bang.
  • Screeching noises can signal a problem with several heater components: the blower motor, the blower belt, or the shaft bearings. Poor maintenance and lack of oiling and lubrication are common causes for this type of breakdown.

Pilot Light Turns Yellowyellow pilot light

In a normal heater, the pilot light burns blue. Blue is the natural color of a flame when it has adequate oxygen. But if this oxygen is restricted, the pilot light can turn from blue to yellow. As a result, the flame is not as hot and can go out frequently, causing the gas supply to shut off. 

Additionally, since the yellow flame is weaker, it can’t eliminate all the carbon monoxide that the blue light can burn. This puts the health of homeowners and their families at risk as the poisonous can start leaking into the rest of the house. 

The most common reason for this problem is the buildup of dirt on the air intake valve. This is why it’s so critical for homeowners to have their heater checked. A maintenance check could identify this buildup of dirt and resolve this problem before turning the heat on.

About Heidler, Inc.

Heidler, Inc. has been leading the way in plumbing and heating innovation since 1947. Their team of experts continuously keeps up to date on the plumbing and heating industry’s latest advancements. By staying educated on new trends and technologies, they can provide the quality heater repair services Annapolis homeowners deserve.