Your water heater provides you with the comforts of modern life, but it can also feel sometimes like having a ticking time bomb in your house. You don’t know when it’ll go off, but it’s almost certain to be at a time that’s inconvenient for you.
There is a way to prevent the mess and fuss of your water heater’s demise, however, and that is to identify the early signs that it’s time to replace it. Here are a few indications that it might be time to get a new one.
The most obvious sign that it’s time for a new water heater is of course finding water everywhere, but (thankfully) most of the time they develop small leaks first. Check around the base of your water heater regularly. If you start seeing moisture, look for the cause. You may simply need to tighten one of the connections to the tank, but if that doesn’t help, the tank most likely has a crack in it somewhere and will need to be replaced. Don’t wait! If that small crack becomes a big one, you could be facing a lot of damage to your home and personal property.
Do you ever hear noises coming from inside your water heater, particularly as it is heating up? These noises are caused by buildup of sediment inside the tank from the hundreds or thousands of gallons it has heated over its lifetime. Annually flushing your water heater will prevent this buildup, and if your water heater isn’t more than a few years old, it might be worth having it professionally flushed to see if this eliminates the noises. If you have it flushed and it still makes noise, it’s time for a new one.
Another indication that your water heater needs to be replaced is the presence of rust, whether inside or outside the tank. You may notice that the water inside the tank is rusty when you drain it for its annual flush. Rust indicates that the tank is corroding inside. Not replacing it at the first sign of rust could lead to a mess if the tank springs a leak, not to mention no one wants to bathe or cook with rusty water.
Not Hot Enough
Have you noticed that your hot water isn’t getting hot enough? Especially in a busy household that uses a lot of hot water, any reduction in temperature can lead to a lot of frustration. The culprit could be a problem with the thermostat or heating element, which might not mean the entire water heater needs to be replaced. If the water heater is more than a few years old, however, you might still consider replacing it, especially if this is an opportunity to upgrade to a larger or more energy efficient model.
Maintaining your water heater by doing things like annual flushes can help it age more gracefully, but even then, water heaters typically only last about a decade, give or take a couple years. Check the manufacturing date on your water heater. If it’s approaching the 8 to 12 year lifespan of most water heaters, you should consider replacing it anyway, or at the very least, watch it closely for any of these signs of an imminent failure.
Avoid a Mess by Replacing Early
No one likes coming home to water everywhere, or not having any hot water for your morning shower. Luckily most water heaters don’t fail out of the blue. By watching for these early warning signs and replacing your water heater at the first sign of trouble, you’ll likely avoid the inconvenience and potentially even a lot of water damage to your home and your things.
Do you suspect your water heater is on its last leg? Contact Maeser today and we’ll handle everything, from inspecting your current water heater to installing the new one.