Water heaters are built to last for years without suffering leaks, corrosion, or drops in performance. But no water heater is designed to last forever. Depending on how old your current water heater is and how well it’s been maintained, you may soon find yourself needing to have the unit replaced.
Below we’ll look at common warning signs that you should make “install a new water heater” one of your first priorities for 2020.
ONE: Old Age
What is “too old” for a water heater? This is a basic question to ask when considering when to replace a water heater. Water heaters can sometimes last more than 20 years. Or they may last less than 10. We recommend considering a replacement after 15 years if other issues are turning up (see below) or your heating bills are rapidly rising. If you don’t know how old the water heater is, examine the plate on the tank. It will either have the manufacturer’s date listed or have it encoded in a serial number. Put the serial number into a search engine and you’ll receive an answer regarding the unit’s manufacture date.
TWO: Excessive Noise
With a younger water heater, odd sounds from the tank are often indications the system needs to be repaired or have its tank flushed. As the system ages, these noises will start to become louder and louder, and flushing the tank won’t stop them. In these cases, the water heater is probably too far gone to keep.
THREE: Decline in Hot Water Volume
One of the biggest warnings of a failing water heater is when it can no longer keep up with the hot water demand in your house. Are people running out of hot water for showers earlier in the morning? That’s a problem, and you shouldn’t attempt to “fix” it by turning up the heat on the water heater. (This is potentially dangerous and could cause scalding.) Repairs may fix the trouble if there’s a single cause for it, like a busted heating element (electric water heater) or broken dip tube. If it’s an overall decline in effectiveness, it’s time for a new water heater.
The sight of corrosion on a water heater tank often means it needs to be replaced. For example, if you see rust on the water inlet or the pressure relief valve, it usually means the rust has already spread throughout the tank and repairs won’t do any good. Corrosion on the heat exchanger can sometimes be fixed if it’s limited to only the heat exchanger. If you notice rusty discoloration in the hot water around the house, then it’s likely from a rusted-through water heater and not rusted pipes.
FIVE: Leaking Tank
Leaking water that comes from pipes or connections can often be repaired. If the leaks are coming from the tank itself, it’s probably because the tank has started to crack after years of expansion—and it’s time for a new water heater.
We recommend you always work with a water heater professional before making a choice to replace your current unit. For your water heater in Fresno, CA, rely on our experts—trusted for over 65 years!
Arrange for water heater service with Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning. “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success” since 1952.