You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your water heater. It sits in the basement for years, working away, while you take hot showers every day. Until the day it stops. To prevent yourself from waking up one morning only to find the hot tap pouring out cold water, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs your water heater is on the fritz.
Most water heaters last about 10 years, so if you know you’re in or approaching that range, keep an eye (and an ear) on your heater. Here are key signs it may be time to purchase a new one.
If you find you’re in need of a new hot water heater, whether yours is getting up there in age or has called it quits, we can help. Give us a call at 972-395-2597 to have a professional discuss your water heater-needs and find the right appliance for you.
1. The Water Temperature Is Inconsistent
You’re warm, you’re happy, you’re singing in the hot shower when the stream turns ice cold. And it’s the third time this week. When cold water comes out of the hot tap, there’s a good chance your water heater needs to be replaced. Depending on whether you have a gas or electric water heater, the issue is likely a broken gas thermocouple or a broken heating element, respectively. A professional plumber will be able to identify the issue and recommend the next step.
2. It’s Not Quite Hot Enough
Your hot water heater temperature should be set between 120 to 140 degrees. (One-hundred twenty degrees is perfect if you want to save on your utility bills). If you’ve found the “hot” water is warm or lukewarm water, it’s a sign of a broken heating element. Call a professional to diagnose the lukewarm water and suggest next steps, which will likely be a new water heater.
3. There’s a Lot of Noise
Does it sound like there’s a ghost rampaging through your house at night? It may be your water heater, and the noise is likely a build-up of sediment in the tank. When sediment comes in contact with the heating element, noise is created as it burns away.
If you have a gas water heater, sediment can create hot spots, damage the tank, and cause the entire heater to fail, so it should be drained regularly to avoid future issues.
If it’s not the sediment that’s causing the noise, your water heater’s heating element may be burning out. Either way, a replacement is an easy fix for the popping and clanging that’s driving you crazy, and a plumber will be happy to diagnose the problem and suggest replacement heaters.
4. You Spot Leaks
Have you noticed puddles around your water heater or streams of water running from your tank to a drain in the floor? These are telltale signs there’s a leak in your water heater.
Sometimes it’s not as obvious. Be on the lookout for smaller puddles around the heater’s fittings and connections.
Left untouched, leaking water can cause damage to your home. If you think there may be a leak, get in touch with a professional plumber to inspect your water heater.
5. Your Water Heater Is Over 10 Years Old
How old is your hot water heater? They can live past 10 years—and many do—but if your heater has celebrated its tenth birthday, it’s time to think about getting a new one. Problems begin to pop up around that time, and it could cost you more money to fix your heater than replace it. You can usually find the year the water heater was made on the appliance itself.
Your utility bill can also benefit from replacing an old water heater. Water heaters today are designed to be more energy0efficient, so your wallet will thank you!
6. You See Muddy or Rusty Water
What color is the water coming out of the faucet? A rust color could point to a failing water heater. It’s actually the interior of the appliance rusting away, and it may soon result in a leak.
If you see mud or sand within your water, it could have a build-up of sediment. Sediment should be drained from your water tank on a regular basis. Every three months is recommended.
A professional plumber can determine whether you’re dealing with a rusting tank or sediment build-up. If your heater is rusting, it’s time for a replacement.
7. You’re Doing Constant Repairs
Any appliance will eventually reach the end of its lifespan. The average lifespan of an electric water heater is 10 to 15 years and 8 to 12 years for gas, but it can sometimes start to display problems early. Constant repairs add up. Eventually it will become more beneficial to replace your water heater with something new rather than continuing to spend on the one that keeps break.
No one wants to hear their water heater is on its way out. It’s a vital part of life within your home! If you’re experiencing problems with your water heater, it’s time to call a professional. At C&W Plumbing, we can help you find the right water heater for your home. It’s important to take your budget into account, as well as your family’s needs and the size of your home to find the perfect fit. You can reach us at 972-395-2597 to schedule an appointment to discuss repairing or replacing your water heater. We also offer 24/7 emergency plumbing service should a water heater emergency arises in the middle of the night.
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