Like any appliance, your water heater breaks down with time and replacement by a certified hot water installer will be necessary at some point. Even the most expensive heaters aren’t built to last forever. But how can you tell when your water heater needs a replacement? Most homeowners have no idea that their water heater could be failing. But it is very easy to tell when a new water heater is failing. Otherwise, it could lead to much larger problems such as hot water disruption to your home if you are not observant. But how do you tell that a water heater is closer to the end of its useful life?
Here the 8 indicators that your water heater needs a replacement:
How long have you been using the water heater? This is the first thing to consider. The longer the water heater is used, the more it wears off. As the days go by, it gets closer to the end of its useful life. For an ideal case, a tank water heater will last on average 8 to 12 years with proper maintenance. If you know the age, it gives you an idea of when it needs a replacement. If it is pushing the ten-year point, this is the perfect time to replace it instead of waiting for a total breakdown. The number of users may also determine the lifespan of the water heater.
Rust and Corrosion
It is important to have the hot water tank checked regularly for any corrosion or rust. If you notice rust in the water coming from the taps, It is the definitely the end of your water heater. This is a clear indication that it has been worn out and might even end up damaging the entire system. Also, remember that the most of the water tanks are made out of steel, and they might rust eventually. Rust could be an indication of their end of life. It is also important to check if you have a galvanised piping that could be the problem to avoid replacing a functional water heater.
Leaking Hot Water Tank
If you notice there is water padding around the water heater, or it is leaking while standing, it is an indication that you need to have it replaced. The problem can be as a result of rust, manufacturing flaws or other causes. Most of the time, the leak is irreparable. But you need to check if the leak is coming from the tank or not since it could be other parts such as valves. If the leak is coming from the tank itself; having the water heater replaced is the only way out. Note that continued leaks can cause severe damage to your property. But always remember to check other areas such as pressure overflow pipe and other connections for leaks before replacement.
Lukewarm or Cold Water
This is one of the indicators that you can feel. If your water heater was providing hot water and all of a sudden you start getting cold or lukewarm water, then there is a problem. If the adjustment of your thermostat does not achieve any changes, your heating element is burning out. This is an indication you need a new water heater to restore the supply of hot water. An increase in hot water demand at your home could be the reason why the water heater is producing lukewarm water. Check your hot water demand to ensure that you are not replacing a working water heater.
Rumbling and Banging Sounds
If you can often hear banging sounds and rumbling coming from the water heater while heating up, it is a sign that it is coming to the end of life. This is usually as a result of sediment building up around the heater. What sediment does is corroding the heating element and creating a layer on it that makes it very difficult for the system to work efficiently. As the sediment hardens, the water heater becomes less efficient, and there is more wear on the metal tank. Continuous rumbling might result in leak with time, and thus it’s important to have the water heater replaced.
Drain Valve Not Working
Over the time, the bottom of the water heater’s tank will start collecting sediment. As the sediment starts building up, it might break down the interior of the tank, and this will end up clogging the drain valve. This is what blocks the water from coming out. If flashing of the water is not enough to open up the drain valve, you will need to replace the heater. Sometimes, blocked drain valve can result in leaks and thus it’s important to have the water heater replaced immediately.
Metallic Smell and Taste
This is another indication that you can easily feel. If you turn on the hot water and realize that it has a metallic taste and smell, it is a sign that the water heater is breaking down. This is mostly as a result of corrosion from the inside. Rusting of the hot water tank or wearing off of the heating element could another reason for this. These metal elements in the water are hazardous to your health, and thus you need to have the water heater replaced immediately.
How often does your water heater get repaired? If the repairs keep adding up, then you have no other choice other than buying a new one. Frequent repairs are an indication that the system is already worn out. What is more irritating is that it ends up costing you more with each repair. If it has given you problems several times, rest assured that the same problem will definitely recur again. If this is the case, then have it replaced. This will give you an opportunity as well to change your hot water system type to better suit your home.
These are the common occurrences when your water heater is reaching the end of its useful life. They are the key indicators that you need a new water heater. Note that other factors can cause some of these indicators such as leak and blockage. It is, therefore, important to have everything checked avoid replacing a functioning water heat. So, why wait until the hot water supply at your home is disrupted? Don’t wait till it breaks down completely. Observe these indicators to avoid some of these messes and damages.