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Water Heater Maintenance/Replacement: 6 Warning Signs to Look Out for
August 29th, 2016
When you rely on your water heater for a comfortable bath or shower, failing performance or breakdowns can put you in a tough spot. Just like other appliances, it has a limited lifespan. Even if you regularly conduct water heater maintenance, sometimes there’s no option left except replacing it with a new one.
Here are 6 common signs that should alert you of the need for water heater replacement:
It’s Over a Decade Old – Water heater life spans can range from 6-8 years to almost 20, but most will start deteriorating after 8-10 years of use. In some cases, smaller issues can be fixed without spending too much time and money on them, but the majority of problems will only get worse over time.
If you’re using an older water heater that’s just beginning to give you trouble, call a service provider for inspection, repairs or replacement.
There’s No Hot Water – If there isn’t enough hot water coming out of the heater or the temperature seems to be lower than normal, it’s likely that you have a problem. Schedule an inspection at the earliest, since lukewarm or cold water can signal issues with the thermostat, heating element and more.
This could also simply indicate an increase in hot water consumption. If your current water heater isn’t meeting your family’s needs, replace it with a larger one.
There’s Visible Damage –Even the highest-quality appliances will be affected by rust and corrosion after a few years of use, so check the body of the water heater for damage. Also inspect the pressure and temperature valves, water outlet and inlet, and the wall behind the heater for signs of rust or corrosion.
Typically, small patches of rust or corrosion can be fixed with minor body work, but if the deterioration is extensive, you should replace the heater.
Water Leaks from It – If there’s any water leakage from the heater, check the inlet/outlet connections and make sure they’re tightly sealed. If the leak is coming from the hot water tank, there’s almost no way to repair it. Cut off the power and water supply to the heater, and call a professional to inspect it.
Water damage can cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary home repairs, so don’t let it go unchecked for any longer than you need to!
You Can’t Flush It – Flushing or draining your water heater helps increase its lifespan, by dislodging any sediment buildup inside the tank. You should do this once a year, but if the tank doesn’t drain when you flush it, the deposits settled at the bottom may have clogged the drain valve or damaged the tank.
Either way, the heater can spring a leak and cause further damage. Call a professional for assistance and start looking for replacements.
Rusty Water/Unusual Sounds – If the outside of the heater looks fine, but there’s discolored water coming out of it, the anode rod or tank may have started rusting. This can also be caused by a sediment buildup, and is usually accompanied by creaking, knocking or banging sounds.
Try flushing the water heater and having the anode replaced. If that doesn’t work, however, the tank is rusted/corroded and you need to replace the heater.