No matter the care taken to maintain it, every water heater eventually reaches the end of its lifespan. Recognizing certain warning signs can help homeowners know when it is time to upgrade to something more efficient and reliable, which this article will go over.
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1. Low water pressure
Traditional tank water heaters typically last 8 to 12 years regardless of gas or electric operation; if yours is reaching that age or older, it may be time to begin exploring replacement options.
Because sediment builds up in tanks as a result of age or use, low water pressure is frequently a sign of a tank that is worn out or damaged. Over time, this sediment accumulation can cause the tank to overheat, damaging heating elements and burners in turn.
Part of yearly maintenance is flushing your water heater to get rid of sediment buildup, but when left neglected, your unit can malfunction and become damaged over time. Installing a new unit may then be necessary.
Alternatively, low pressure could signal it’s time to upgrade your plumbing. In such an instance, a plumber should inspect pipes and make any needed repairs or upgrades.
2. Frequent repair needs
One of the most obvious signs that it’s time to replace your water heater is if you find yourself constantly calling a plumber for repairs. While sporadic upkeep and repairs are common, a water heater that breaks down more frequently than once or twice a year is obviously nearing the end of its useful life.
Continually spending money on repairs can quickly add up, making a replacement a more sensible long-term solution.
Even the best appliances eventually reach their lifespan, and water heaters are no exception. Failing to recognize signs of impending failure could result in constant and costly repairs or, worse, property damage from an explosive tank leak.
3. Rust or corrosion
Corrosion on the outside of your water heater is an indicator that it needs replacing soon. Corrosion occurs due to magnesium anode rod corrosion corroding away, allowing water to access steel inside of its tank, ultimately leading to leakage or rupture of your unit.
Rusty water or metallic flavors indicate it may be time for you to upgrade or replace your water heater. Rust may originate in your anode rod rather than from within your pipes, so it is wise to conduct an investigation prior to making any decisions on whether or when to do so.
Corrosion of an anode rod leaves your water heater susceptible to leakage and other damages. Still, regular inspections and maintenance can help protect against this and extend its service life for years.
4. Low volume of warm water
No one likes waking up and showering in cold or lukewarm water. Less heat output from your hot water heater than it did previously may indicate that its time is running out.
Low volumes of warm water indicate that your family’s needs have outgrown the capacity of your current water heater and may require upgrading it or purchasing a whole new system.
In such an instance, it’s time to contact a professional plumber immediately to install a replacement water heater – they’ll inspect the unit, help select an ideal model, and have it up and running so you don’t have to endure being without hot water for too long!
5. Increased energy bills
Water heaters consume an immense amount of energy to provide hot water, so if your energy bills have increased over the past months, it could be time for an upgrade. Older models weren’t designed with energy efficiency in mind, so they need to work harder and longer to supply your home with sufficient hot water.
In addition to lowering your long-term energy expenses, a new water heater may be qualified for tax breaks or rebates at the time of purchase.
Even with proper maintenance, water heaters eventually end their useful lives. Recognizing these signs will allow you to make an informed decision regarding its replacement before it fails and creates a costly mess for yourself and others.