Whether you're doing laundry or enjoying a hot bath, your water heater is working hard. As such, like all other household appliances, this one will eventually wear out. Failing to spot the trouble early on could leave you facing an unpleasant hot water shortage, so stay alert for these indicators that it's time for a water heater replacement.
How Can You Tell When Your Water Heater Is Failing?
When your running water is rust-colored, the interior of the tank might be eroding. To be sure the heater is the source of the rust, fill several gallon-sized containers from the hot and cold taps. If the discoloration isn't limited to the hot side, the rust is coming from the pipes. However, if the cold side seems fine, the tank is to blame.
With age, a layer of sediment and minerals will form and harden into a solid mass within your water heater. When the heater turns on, the temperature change will cause the sediment to crackle and pop. This indicates that the heater has significantly reduced capacity and will be using extra energy heating the sediment blockages.
Water that never gets hot can mean the heating element is at the end of its lifespan. Before assuming this is the issue, double-check that the unit's thermostat is set somewhere around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If adjusting the temperature controls doesn't solve the problem, consider shopping for a water heater replacement.
Constant moisture around the tank is a warning sign of cracks. If they continue to expand, the heater could burst and flood the surrounding area. Before assuming the worst, have a plumber check the unit. It may just be a loose part or an issue with the overflow pipe.
No matter how well the unit is performing, old age will eventually take its toll. The more hot water your home uses, the quicker the tank will wear out. Older systems tend to be less energy efficient, so once the heater is over 15 years old, switch to an Energy Star® version to save money.
If you need a water heater replacement, contact John Lockwood Plumbing in Ontario, NY. This family-owned and -operated business has served Monroe, Wayne, and Ontario counties since 1973. Their skilled crew understands that emergencies happen and will perform after-hours troubleshooting with efficiency and professionalism. Call (585) 265-0736 today with any plumbing questions, or visit their website to learn more about their quality service options.