Everyone wants to enjoy the comfort of hot water in their home – a quick dip in the bathtub following a long, exhausting day is never a bad idea. Unfortunately, reality frequently deviates from expectations. And your water heater can be the culprit for all your inconveniences. Though water heaters are touted to be durable appliances boasting a lifespan of up to 15 years, they are prone to wear and tear due to the continuous demand on them. This deterioration can result in leaks, broken components, and, ultimately, diminished heating performance. And when that happens, you must be prepared for the consequences. Fortunately, knowing the symptoms of a malfunctioning water heater can help you take the necessary steps to protect your comfort and your family in cold, dreary winter months. From corrosion to mounting heating bills, these are the most common signs that it’s time to replace your water heater.
1. AGE OF YOUR WATER HEATER
This is one of your most reliable indicators that it’s time for a new unit. While a water heater should last you anywhere from 7 to 12 years, some only last 5 or 6 years, while others can last up to 15 years if properly maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. If your water heater is more than 10-years-old or is starting to show signs of wear and tear, it’s likely time for a replacement. In fact, most manufacturers don’t offer repair services on units older than ten years due to their high failure rate over time.
2. LOSS OF HOT WATER VOLUME
If you notice that your hot water isn’t as hot as it used to be, you may have a problem with sediment buildup in your tank or in your pipes leading up to it. Over time, sediment can build up inside water heaters and reduce their effectiveness while corroding some of their internal components—leaving you with less hot water available for use throughout your home on busy mornings before work or during morning showers. If you notice lower-than-usual volume coming out of faucets, check for buildups at both ends of where water is being dispensed. When you do find issues with either end, consider replacement over repair due to the high cost associated with repairing older models that are more likely to fail shortly after repairs are made.
3. RISING HEATING BILLS
One of your most valuable indicators that it’s time for a new water heater is if you see your monthly heating bill increasing every month, with no major changes in temperature or humidity. This could be an indication that something’s not working as efficiently as it should be, which could lead to early failure if not addressed immediately. You can either call in the experts to fix the issue, but most probably, they will recommend replacing your aging water heater with a new, efficient, and compact model that can save on energy bills over time. Typically, newer models are more energy-efficient than older ones by at least 25%—and even more efficient models continue to come out every year. So, if you want to protect your home from large heating bills in winter, consider investing in a new tank when things seem off despite there being no change in weather conditions around your home.
One of your most visible warning signs that you need a new water heater is when you see corrosion on surfaces near it, such as in shower stalls and tubs, around sinks, and in basements and crawlspaces where pipes may lead up to and away from your tank. This happens when water traveling through older tanks contains higher levels of dissolved solids or minerals, which can build up inside or outside your unit and cause corrosion issues that lead to leaks or, worse—mold growth on flooring, walls, and other sensitive materials near your hot water heater. If you see signs of pitting, leaking, or rusting from any of these areas, it’s time for a replacement before things get worse.
5. TOO MANY REPAIRS
Perhaps the most apparent signs that it’s time for a new water heater is if you’ve had more than one issue with your tank in a short amount of time. Older tanks need to be regularly maintained—and when something goes wrong, they often require at least one repair or replacement part before everything is running smoothly again. If you have more than two repairs in a year or two, consider replacing your water heater before it gets too much worse and ends up costing you even more in repairs later on down the road.
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