5 Telltale Signs That You Should Replace Your Water Heater

How do you know when to replace your water heater? Here are 5 clues to help you determine when you need a water heater replacement. April 4, 2018 11:30 am

A water heater is a crucial part of any household, which is why it’s all the more important to know when it’s time to get a new one. Even with regular maintenance, most water heaters last about a decade.

Here are five common signs that should let you know it’s time to replace a water heater.

1. Rust

Steel doesn’t have many weaknesses, but rust is certainly one of them. If you notice that your pressure release valve or the water inlet are rusty, it’s safe to assume that rust has taken hold inside the tank. In this case, there’s no other option but to replace the heater.

If your tap water looks rusty, that could either be an issue with the pipes or the tank. You can determine this yourself by emptying 3-4 buckets worth of water from your tank. If the water is still rusty by the final bucket load, the problem is definitely with the tank.

2. Strange Noises

As the heater gets older, it should start emanating strange noises while it’s heating water. Most of the time, this will happen due to the sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. The good news is that you can drain the sediment from the tank by flushing it. Doing so on an annual basis should help extend the heater’s lifespan.

3. Failure to Heat Water

There are two main causes for the loss of heat in the water supply: a misadjusted thermostat and a broken heating element. First, make sure the thermostat is set between 120 and 140 degrees. If that doesn’t fix the issue, your heater will probably need to be repaired by your local plumber.

Also, keep in mind that your water heater may just be too small for your home. If the size of your household has increased recently, your hot water demands may exceed the limits of your current heater.

4. Leaks

Once you start noticing water around the heater, it’s pretty obvious that you’re dealing with leaks. That said, there are a couple of possible causes of these leaks. Though they could be yet another byproduct of old age — in which case the tank should be replaced — they could also appear due to loose fittings. If you want to get to the bottom of this issue, have a professional examine the situation.

5. Old Age

Haven’t noticed any of the above symptoms? You should consider yourself fortunate, but it’s still generally recommended to replace your water heater once it reaches ten years of age.

Not sure when your heater was manufactured? Simply look at its serial number, which will usually be located on the upper half of the tank. The date will be listed in the form of a code, such as G071048756. The first letter of the code stands for the month the heater was made (G=July), and the following two numbers stand for the year — 2007.

If there is even the slightest hint that there is an issue with your water heater, make sure you have it professionally inspected by a licensed plumber like Coastline Environmental Solutions. We are well equiped to investigate any plumbing issue and can have your equipment repaired or replaced in no time! Get in touch with our office today.

Author: Vince

Vincent J. Attardo is the President/CEO of Coastline Environmental Solutions, Inc. He provides Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) investigations, mold and bacteria testing, water damage/mold remediation and repair, and is available for consultation and public speaking. For more information please visit www.coastlineclean.com. Readers may contact him at 800-847-3867 or email at [email protected]