When is it time to consider replacing your water heater? That’s a question we get a lot so we’ve compiled a list of our 5 tell-tale signs so you don’t end up taking a cold shower!
- Rust or Corrosion. If there is any significant amount of rust or corrosion around the bottom or on top of the water heater that indicates it there’s a leak developing or already happening. Grab a flashlight and inspect the very bottom of the water heater. Leaks here can be especially worrisome because on a gas water heater they can cause the pilot light to go out, leaving you without hot water. Rust on the top of the water heater could just be leaking piping above heater (which can usually be fixed) but more often it’s water “bubbling up”. This happens because sometimes the path of least resistance for the leaking water is to actually bubble up from the tank lid weld joint. This is caused because the space between the water heater “jacket” and the actual steel tank is filled tightly with insulation.
- Water on the Floor. When there is a pool of water on the floor the tank isn’t always the culprit. We make sure to rule out a couple of other issues before we make a diagnosis. First, if your furnace is right next to your water heater that could be the real source of the leak. Second, a faulty temperature and pressure relief (T&P) valve could be dripping (more on that later). Once those two are ruled out, it’s safe to say the tank is leaking and it’s critical to get it replaced quickly. We’ve seen water heaters about to tip over because one of the legs rusted out and began to give way.
- Loud Crackling and Popping. If you regularly hear your heater crackling and popping that means the bottom of the tank is covered with sediment. So, instead of just heating up water, the burner is now cooking the solids on the bottom of the tank. This is is terribly inefficient. But, more importantly, the sediment can affect how the control valve thermostat senses the temperature of the water, which can cause dangerous overheating.
- Not Enough Hot Water or Lukewarm Water. These conditions happen for different reasons and can sometimes be fixed. With a gas hot water heater, the problem could be a faulty control valve. On an electric water heater, it’s a bit more complicated. Not enough hot water could mean the bottom element is not working, causing you to only get the top half worth of hot water. Lukewarm water could have several causes and requires a lengthy diagnosis process.
- Age. 8-10 Years. The average lifespan of water heaters is 8-10 years. Regularly flushing your water heater can help but what helps more is having a working expansion tank installed. When water heats it expands and that means the steel tank is under daily pressure. An expansion tank allows the water somewhere to safely expand, thereby reducing the stress on the steel tank of your water heater.
We hope this information helps you make a good decision when it comes to when to replace your water heater. In the greater Akron area, homeowners call us for help with their troublesome water heater problems. In neighborhoods throughout Stow, Wadsworth, Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, and parts of Summit County, our crews are there on the double to repair and replace all types and brands of water heaters. If you see signs that your water heater needs to be replaced, give us a call today.
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