We hardly think about our water heaters unless we need them fixed. But in 1868, one Englishman, who was actually a painter, really thought hard about designing the first modern domestic water heater. And thanks to his invention, we can now enjoy the luxury of hot water in our homes!
Water heaters not only help us have relaxing baths, but they also save us time when cooking, cleaning dishes, and doing laundry. And like every other appliance around our homes, they fail. Unfortunately, most homeowners are unable to spot the signs of a failing water heater on time.
So how do you tell that your water heater is nearing the end of its serviceable life and needs to be replaced? Read on to learn how.
THE WATER LOOKS CLOUDY
Rusty or murky water is a tell-tale sign that the best days of your water heater are well behind it. A water heater uses a sacrificial anode to attract compounds that cause corrosion and prevent them from attaching to the tank. However, if the anode rod is not replaced on time, the water heater begins to rust.
When you start to see cloudy water, or you detect a metallic scent or taste, the corrosion could now be eating away your water heater—and that is a disaster in waiting. However, keep in mind that water discoloration could also be caused by corroded plumbing. To identify the actual source of the rust, partner with a professional plumber to avoid replacing a functioning water heater.
YOU CAN HEAR ODD NOISES
Nobody likes noisy appliances—it’s always a sign that something is amiss. Those strange noises coming from your water heater are a warning that its days are numbered. And the more you ignore them, the louder they become with time. The rumbling, knocking, or clanging noise is caused by sediments and mineral formation at the bottom of the tank, especially when the buildup grows thicker.
When there is so much sediment in the tank, your water heater strains and drains more power. The sediment also rapidly wears down the inside of the tank, leading to leaks. That’s why it’s recommended you flush your tanks annually. If the noise won’t go away even with regular flushing, it’s time to plan for a replacement.
LEAKS AROUND THE TANK
Around 7 out of every 10 water heater failures are caused by a slow leak or a sudden burst. These leaks not only cause expensive damage, but they are also a health concern. Pooling or rust around your water tank is one of the water heater danger signs. It’s a clear indication that your tank or the connection is in bad shape and needs urgent attention.
The cracks on the tank may not be visible to you, but when the metal heats and expands, they cause leaks. And when the metal cools, the fissures close up, making it hard to spot them. Leaks around the connections and fittings can be fixed by an experienced plumber, but tank leaks mean you need to replace the entire unit.
NOT ENOUGH HOT WATER
One of the warning signs that your water heater is in decline and should be swapped out is when it can’t produce enough water. Maybe your shower turns cold before you’re done, or it takes a long time to get hot water from the kitchen tap. A unit that is in perfect shape will comfortably supply hot water without delays or interruptions.
When sediments and other deposits accumulate in the bottom of your tank, they compromise the heating elements. Again, if there are more members in your home now than there were a year ago, you may need to get a heater that has a larger tank. A tank with a bigger capacity will accommodate the water usage of everyone in your household.
THE WATER HEATER REPAIR COSTS TOO MUCH
Are you aware that it costs homeowners between $203 and $800 for just one water heater repair? If you have you’ve been digging deeper to keep your water heater functional, it’s time to arrange for a new installation. A unit that is in decent shape only requires regular tune-ups, which aren’t costly.
YOUR WATER HEATER IS TOO OLD
The average life expectancy of a tank water heater is 8 to 12 years. But it’s not uncommon for some to last over 15 years. So, if your water heater is approaching the decade mark, sooner or later, you’re bound to see signs of fatigue. To be on the safe side, start shopping for a new one.
CONSULT AN EXPERT BEFORE YOU REPLACE
Getting a new water heater is a smart move for any homeowner dealing with a problematic unit. Apart from the convenience they offer, the latest models are highly energy-efficient, meaning you get to save on power bills.
If you are concerned about water heater failure or have detected any of the tell-tale signs above, consult Veteran Air today—a reputable plumbing company that goes the extra mile for homeowners in Sarasota/Bradenton and surrounding locations.