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Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Water Heater
Hot water is a modern luxury none of us can do without. Washing machines, dishwashers, and of course, your precious hot showers rely on a working water heater. Water heaters are a crucial element of every home and can lead to some serious problems if it stops working.
Water heaters are expensive, and if your water heater starts to fail, knowing whether you need to replace it or not can save you a major headache. In this article, we’ll go over the signs its time to replace your water heater.
Step 1: Check the Age of Your Water Heater
The first step in figuring out if you need to replace your water heater is checking the age of your water heater.
To check the age of your water heater, look for the manufacturer’s sticker, which will be in the upper right-hand corner of the heater. Once you have located the manufacturer’s sticker, look for the water heater’s serial number, which should start with a letter and two numbers, such as “D07”.
The first letter in the serial number shows you the month of construction, and the two numbers after it show the year. You might think the letter is the first letter of the month, but the letter refers to the numbered month that the water heater got built.
So in our example, “D07”, D is the fourth letter in the alphabet, and the fourth month in the year is April; that would mean they built the water heater built in April. The two numbers, “07”, meaning they built it in 2007. For example, if your water heater’s serial number started with “A98”, it means it got made in January of 1998.
Typically you will need to replace your water heater every 10 to 15 years. If your water heater is around 10 years old, it might not need replacing, but you will need to monitor it closely to make sure that it isn’t failing. If your water heater is 15 years or older, it is likely that you will need to replace it.
Signs Its Time to Replace Your Water Heater
If your water heater is less than 10 years old and you are still experiencing issues, it still might need replacing. In this section, we’ll go over the symptoms of a failing water heater and how to diagnose these problems.
Water Pooling Around the Base of The Heater
The most obvious sign that a water heater needs to get replaced is water pooling around the base of the water heater.
Water heaters work by heating metal inside of the heater, which causes the sides of the heater to expand and contract. Over time, this can create cracks as the material breaks down, and water will leak out. Cracks in your heater can are also caused by built-up sediment, which puts extra pressure on the sides of the tank and can cause it to crack.
If you are seeing pooling under your water heater, make sure to determine where the leak is coming from. In some cases, the leak might not come from a crack in the tank. Some water heater leaks are from leaking drain valves at the bottom of the tank and some are from leaks at the relief valve at the top.
Make sure to inspect these parts before deciding to replace your water heater.
Rumbling or Banging Inside of Tank
If you hear banging or rumbling inside of your water tank, its a sign you need to replace it.
Banging and rumbling inside the tank is from pieces of sediment being thrown around and hitting the walls of the tank. Sediment in your tank is from calcium carbonate being drawn out of the water when it is heated, which builds up at the bottom of your tank into a hard layer.
When this layer breaks up, pieces of sediment start hitting the tank walls and make them brittle and more likely to fail. Make sure to replace your water heater before it begins to leak and causes damage to your home.
Rusty or Brown Colored Hot Water
If your hot water comes out rusty colored or brown, you need to replace your water heater.
Rusty or brown water is from a build-up of sediment in the tank, which gets mixed into the water and comes out of your spout. The sediment is not dangerous, but it will affect the taste and color of your water.
If your water tank has reached this point, it’s likely you will have to replace it because the sediment build-up has become irreversible at this point.
Make sure that there isn’t a larger problem by checking the flow of the cold water in your house as well. If your cold water is also brown or rust colored, your problem is probably related to your pipes rather than your heater. If your cold water is rusty, get your pipes inspected and replaced immediately.
Hot Water Takes Too Long or Runs Out Fast
If you notice that your hot water is taking a long time to heat up or runs out fast, your heater might need replacing.
Your water heater taking a long time to heat water is a sign that it is not performing efficiently. This means higher energy costs because it takes more energy to heat water to the same temperature as before.
The same goes for hot water running out fast; it means your water heater is struggling to heat water and can’t keep up with the demand you are putting on it. If you notice these issues, check your water heater and see if you need to replace a heating element or the heater itself.
Maintenance Today Saves Money Tomorrow
Now that you know more about the signs its time to replace your water heater, you can keep a sharp eye out for issues with your heater. Make sure to regularly inspect and maintain your water heater; a routine check every few weeks could say you a fortune in replacement costs.
If you have any more questions about water heater maintenance or replacing your water heater, please contact us.
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