Your water heater is the lifeblood of many activities in your home. Without hot water, you can’t run your dishwasher, your washing machine, or even take a nice shower. We rely on our water heaters to keep our home comfortable, clean, and running smoothly.
But sometimes, they break down. Water heater breakdowns can cause these activities to come to a screeching halt. So when will you need water heater replacement?
When to Replace Your Water Heater
Water heater replacement can be rather expensive and it can also cost valuable time. So when should you be sure that you’ll need your water heater replaced? Here are some signs that your water heater needs to go.
Water Heater is Too Old
This one sounds a bit subjective. You might have an old water heater that has no problems with performance. That’s fine, and most of the time, you’ll want to keep it running. However, a newer water heater (especially a high efficiency tankless unit) can be a great investment due to increased efficiency and lower operating costs.
If your water heater is starting to see lowered performance, then you’re going to want it replaced. Signs of lower performance include water not getting as hot as it used to, the water heater taking longer to heat the water, and an increase in your energy bills.
Seeing Rust in Your Water
Is your water turning brown or orange? Don’t worry, this water is probably not contaminated, and there’s probably not an issue with your city’s water supply. This water is just rusty. You absolutely should not drink it or use it to wash anything!
If you’re seeing rust in your water, your water heater might be to blame. It could be due to the anode rod inside the tank wearing down, causing the inside of the tank to oxidize and produce rust. This can be prevented by checking the sacrificial anode rod every three years or so, and replacing it when it has either worn down or if it’s coated with calcium deposits.
Water Heater Is Making a Weird Noise
Why would noises come from the water heater? The most likely culprit is sediment settling on the bottom of the tank. If this is the case, get your hot water tank flushed. Good water heater maintenance requires that your tank be flushed every year.
However, if after you flush your hot water tank you still hear those loud noises, the problem is likely more serious. You might need to replace your water heater.
Water Heater is Leaking
A leaking water heater could be one of several problems, however none of these problems should be tolerated and should be fixed ASAP. Your HVAC professional or plumber might recommend that you replace your water heater, in which case it’s a good idea to simply replace the water heater and not have the issue repaired.
Water Heater Isn’t Heating Water
This one seems pretty obvious, however if your water heater simply isn’t working (or isn’t working as well as it used to), it should not be tolerated. Call your trusted HVAC professional to have them take a look at it. It’s likely you’re going to need a replacement, but there may be an issue with it that can be repaired.
Remember to Get Proper Water Heater Maintenance Done!
Your water heater is one of the most important parts of a comfortable home. Getting water heater maintenance done every year or so can help extend the life of your water heater. Here are some tips you can follow.
- Flush out your tank yearly.
- Test your relief valve yearly.
- Examine the anode rod every 3 years.
- Hire a plumber or HVAC professional to do additional maintenance on your water heater.