The availability of hot running water is essential in many households. From frequent hand washing and showers to dish-cleaning, laundry, and cooking, you use a lot of water, and when you consider how many people are in your household (or have lived there previously, as the case may be), you may realize that the demand placed on your water heater is extremely high. As a result, your water heater may show signs of needing replacement or major repairs over time. Therefore, every homeowner needs to know when their home needs a new water heater. Here are seven telltale signs it’s time to replace your hot water system.
1. Your Unit Is Old
If your unit has reached the end of its expected lifespan, it might be time to consider getting a new water heater. Electric heaters have an average lifespan of 15 years, while gas-powered heaters last around 10 years. If your home’s water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, it might not work as effectively as it did when it was new.
Many water heating units can last beyond their expected lifetimes with routine maintenance. Nonetheless, the older your appliance becomes, the less efficient it’ll be. That’s because of the design, production, and technological developments that have likely happened since you purchased your current unit. If you are concerned about the performance of your water heater and hot water costs, a tankless water heater is a worthwhile investment for your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.
2. Insufficient or No Hot Water
If your home’s water heater is not working properly, you’ll be stuck with insufficient hot water or cold water as you get ready every morning. This could happen due to the heater’s thermostat, in which case the fix is just a simple adjustment. If that’s not the case, though, it could stem from a faulty heating element. With gas heaters, you can often reignite the pilot light to help with this, but electric heaters might require the element to be replaced.
Misadjusted thermostats and faulty heating elements are relatively simple fixes, but if your water heater was too small for your home in the first place, a replacement is your best option. Consult your local plumbing expert to determine what the ideal size of water heater is for your home.
3. Rusty Water
Rusty water is another common sign that you need a water heater replacement. As your storage tank ages, mineral deposits accumulate inside. While flushing the tank regularly can eliminate most of the mineral buildup, the longer the water heater unit stays in service, the more buildup it’ll end up with. If hot water comes from your taps with visible rust or dirt, your storage tank’s condition may be deteriorating.
If you notice rust going through the water in your home’s faucets or see rust around the water heater tank, you need to contact your plumber immediately. Rust may be a warning sign that water might be creeping into other areas it shouldn’t be, such as inside the water heater. Besides, rust can eventually cause corrosion or permanent failure of the storage tank.
Your plumber will inspect the entire system to determine whether the rust issue is coming from the storage tank or the pipes. The professional will then flush the water heater tank and replace the sacrificial anode rod to enhance your hot water’s quality. While these measures may clear the water, it’s often temporary and might not be effective if the water heater has large mineral deposits. Therefore, investing in a new hot water system will be the best solution.
4. Strange Noises
Another common sign of a deteriorating water heater is loud and strange noises from the unit. Water heaters normally produce little noise when operating properly. Therefore, loud sounds such as clanking, banging, or rumbling indicate problems inside the unit. These noises can occur due to mineral buildup inside the storage tank or failing burners, leading to corrosion and decreased water heating efficiency. If your unit is making extremely loud noises, it indicates the appliance is nearing the end of its lifespan.
5. Water Leaks
As a water heater approaches the end of its service life, there’s a high probability that you’ll see some water on the floor near the tank. Water pools around the water heater indicate one thing: leakages. Leaks usually develop over the years as your water tank repeatedly heats and cools. Contact your plumber to inspect the hot water system and locate the source of the leaks as soon as possible. That’s because leaks can result in major property damage depending on the positioning of your water heater inside your house. Before giving recommendations, the professional will also check other areas like the overflow pipe, fittings, and other system connections for leakages.
Some leakages, like those originating from the valves, are repairable. However, there are no repairs for a leaking storage tank, which means a water heater replacement is the only solution. Trying to run your water heater with a leaking tank will only put you at risk of flooding or more serious problems in the future. If you see water pools around the base of the water heater, it’s likely time to consider replacing your unit.
6. Frequent Water Heater Repairs
Another telltale sign that you need a new water heater is frequent repairs. Regular repairs indicate the hot water unit is worn out. If it’s happening when the heating unit is in its 10th year of service or later, then it’s time for a new heater. At this point, the repairs will do very little to save the situation. There is a high probability that you will fix one issue after another, and the repeated repair costs will add up quickly. If your appliance requires constant repairs to run correctly, consider replacing your unit.
7. Reduced Water Pressure
The accumulation of mineral deposits in your hot water system’s heating elements can block the pipes, reducing the pressure of the hot water from your heater. If you are experiencing this problem, your plumber can inspect the heater and make the necessary recommendations. Although repairs can restore the water pressure to its normal state, you might need to replace your heater, especially if you have an aging unit.
Contact the Plumbing Experts Today!
Water is among the most used resources in every home. In most of these usages, you need water with some degree of warmth. So, when your hot water system fails for whatever reason, you must rectify the issue as soon as possible to keep your family comfortable. If you are experiencing hot water system problems, Fusion Plumbing & Air is the company to call here in Tucson, AZ. Our licensed and experienced plumbers can provide a full range of plumbing services, including water heater repairs and new hot water system installations. We also offer drain cleaning, gas line, and sewer line services. You can turn to us for heating and cooling repairs, installation, and maintenance as well. Contact us today for all your plumbing needs and we will gladly serve you.