Water heaters are an important part of many homes and businesses, supplying hot water for showers, cleaning, and laundry. But even with regular upkeep and repairs, these essential units eventually lose effectiveness and must be replaced. Here are seven signs that indicate it’s time to replace your water heater.
1. Age of the Water Heater
The age of your water heater is crucial when determining if it’s time for a replacement. On average, a traditional tank-style water heater has a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. However, some water heaters may last longer or shorter depending on factors such as usage and maintenance. As your water heater unit ages, it becomes less efficient and more susceptible to breakdowns. You may realize your hot water supply runs out quicker than usual or takes longer to reheat. This can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially during peak usage times like mornings or evenings.
Additionally, an older unit can become a safety hazard if not properly maintained or replaced in a timely manner. Over time, sediment buildup inside the tank can lead to corrosion and leaks, which could result in property damage or even injury. If you don’t remember the age of your water heater, check the manufacturer’s information label on the unit itself. This will tell you when it was manufactured, so you have an idea of when a replacement will be necessary.
2. Discolored Water
Discolored water can present itself in many different shades, such as brown, yellow, or even green. Discoloration is often caused by rust or sediment buildup inside your water heater’s tank. Over time, this buildup can break loose and mix with the hot water flowing into your home’s plumbing system. While discolored water may not necessarily mean that your entire unit needs to be replaced right away, it indicates underlying issues with the tank. Ignoring this problem could lead to more severe issues down the line. It is important to get a trained plumber to investigate the cause of discolored water in your faucets and recommend whether the water heater needs repair or replacement. An experienced plumber will advise whether installing a filtration system would help prevent future issues with water quality.
3. No Hot Water
There’s nothing worse than turning on the shower to find there’s no hot water. This problem can indicate that it’s time to swap your heater for a new one. The most common reason this happens is a malfunctioning heating element in your water heater tank. Over time, these elements wear out and stop producing heat. Another reason for having no hot water could be a faulty thermostat in your unit. If this component isn’t functioning correctly, it may prevent your tank from heating up to a predetermined temperature. As a result, you’ll end up with cold or lukewarm water instead of piping-hot water. Whatever the cause, if you’re experiencing a lack of hot water, it’s essential to contact an experienced technician immediately. Waiting too long can lead to more significant issues and even complete water heater failure.
4. Water Leaks or Pooling
Water leaks can be a sign of a severe problem, and ignoring these warning signs can lead to extensive damage to your home. If you notice any water leaks or pooling around your water heater unit, turn off the power supply and shut off the cold-water valve. This will prevent further damage from occurring until a professional can assess the situation. A leaking water heater tank can compromise the structural integrity of your property or cause mold growth. It is crucial to be mindful of water collecting at the base of your water heater, as this could indicate a damaged drain valve or corrosion on the tank’s bottom. If left unchecked, even small leaks can become much bigger over time, resulting in expensive repairs or replacement costs.
5. Strange Noises
If you start hearing popping, cracking, or rumbling sounds, this may indicate that sediment has built up in the tank. Over time, minerals and debris can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater, causing these unusual noises. These sounds occur when air bubbles try to escape through the sediment layer. The noise is usually more noticeable when heating elements are activated and can become louder over time if left unaddressed. If you hear any weird noise coming from your hot water system, it’s best to call a professional plumber for an inspection and repair options.
6. Excessive Repairs
If you frequently find yourself calling a plumber to repair your water heater, it may be time to consider replacing the unit. While some repairs are minor, excessive repairs can add up in cost. As your unit ages, it becomes more prone to wear and tear, leading to ongoing problems.
Another factor that contributes to multiple repairs is a lack of routine maintenance. Neglecting to flush out sediment and check for leaks can lead to major issues that require professional attention. If you notice that every repair leads to another problem in a short amount of time, your water heater is simply at the end of its useful life. Consider how much money has already been spent on previous fixes versus purchasing a new unit.
7. Higher Energy Bills
When your water heater begins to fail, it may have to work harder to heat the same amount of water. This can increase your monthly energy costs. You may notice a gradual increase in your energy bills or a sudden spike in them. This is because your water heater’s heating elements or other components may be wearing out, causing it to work harder and use more energy.
If you notice an increase in your energy bills, consider replacing your water heater with a more energy-efficient model. Newer models are designed to be use less energy to heat the same amount of water. Additionally, newer models often come with improved insulation, which helps to retain heat and reduce heat loss. This means your water heater won’t have to work as hard to maintain the desired water temperature, reducing your energy consumption. You should consider reaching out to a professional plumber for advice on which water heater model will serve your needs with regard to hot water demand and budget.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs taking place with your water heater, it may be time for a replacement. If you need water heater replacement assistance, seek professional help from AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. We will ensure you get a suitable and efficient unit for your home’s needs, along with the best installation services possible. At AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we offer our clients in Farmington Hills and surrounding areas plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical services. We can install generators, ceiling fans, lighting, outlets, garbage disposals, and water filtration systems. Our team of experts is dedicated to high-quality service and 100% customer satisfaction. Contact AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical today to learn more about our services.