When to Replace Your Hot Water Heater

Hot water is an important part of daily life, from washing the dishes at night to taking your morning shower before work. Your hot water heater ensures the function, comfort, and even safety of your home; which is why it’s so important to keep your water heater in good repair as the years go by. You also want to plan a hot water heater replacement just in time as your old water heater heats its last tank. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your old water heater?

These machines tend to give you pretty clear signs when they need maintaining or to be replaced. Let’s define the signs that your water heater is about to break and/or that it’s time to plan for a new water heater installation.

1. A Rusty Inlet Valve

Any metal water container will see a little bit of rust. Rust can come through the water from other pipes. However, if you see rust on the outside or – worse – inside of your tank then it’s time to start planning for a replacement. This rust is an indicator that the tank has become brittle and may soon break or spring a leak.

The biggest warning sign is rust in or around your inlet valve. This can indicate that the rust has already started inside your tank, and the tank will need to be replaced shortly.

2. The Water Won’t Heat Anymore

A water heater that won’t heat is the definition of non-functional. However, there are a few reasons why this can happen. Have your water heater inspected and maintained first. Determine if it is the pilot light, element, sediment buildup, or something more insidious. If your water heater won’t heat, or won’t get hot enough, and the problem isn’t solved in a single service visit, it’s time to plan to replace your water heater.

3. The Water Heater Tank is Cracked and Leaking

A sure sign that your water heater needs replacement is if the tank springs a leak. The bulk of a water heater is a chassis container to hold water. Once cracked, the water heater cannot function and even leaving it plumbed in can cause flooding or worse. When the water container is cracked, the best solution is to have a new water heater installed before the leak becomes worse.

4. Flushing Doesn’t Improve Performance

When you run your water heater, sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank. This is made of dust and natural minerals that fall out of the water when it is heated. Unfortunately, sediment coats the heating elements and bakes into a solid form. This stops your water heater from heating and makes a lot of noise. Regular flushing of your water heater (once a year) can clear out sediment and improve water heater performance.

If you have your water heater flushed and performance does not improve, you have a more permanent problem on your hands. If the water still won’t heat, for example, it may be a systemic issue and not the sediment buildup.

5. Loud Noises from Your Water Heater

Listen for your water heater. It’s normal to hear your water heater filling and the occasional echoing noise. However, there are a few sounds to worry about. Sediment can cause some creaking and clanging as it heats and re-hardens over the coils. If your water heater is clean and creaking, this is likely the sound of a tank about to crack. Determine the type of noises you are hearing and, if necessary, make immediate plans for a water heater replacement.

6. The Age of Your Unit (Check the Serial Number)

Finally, check the age of your water heater. If you’re not sure, the serial number can tell you. Serial numbers are laid out [month][year][product]. The letter is the month, the first two numbers are the year. If those numbers are about ten years previous, it’s probably time to replace your hot water heater.

Are you still unsure as to when you should replace your hot water heater? Contact us today for expert maintenance and installation services.

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