How to Tell if Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced
Your Water Heater is Over 10 years old
Your water temperature varies during a shower
You run out of hot water quickly
Water is leaking from around the water heater
The flow rate of water in the home is reduced
You hear popping noises from the water heater
You have discolored and smelly water
How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
The typical tank water heater lasts 10-12 years, although it can sometimes last longer or shorter depending on how well it’s maintained and the local water quality. Using a water softener and scheduling regular maintenance can help extend the life of your unit.
How to Check the Age of Your Water Heater
If you’re not sure how old the hot water heater is, you can check the serial number. The serial number is printed by the manufacturer on a label that is usually attached to the upper part of the heater. It will include the production date. The first two digits in the code are the last two numbers of the year. (for example: 12 would mean it is from 2012)
If your water heater is more than ten years old, you should pay close attention to signs of trouble.
Signs You Need a New Water Heater
The following symptoms can help you decide when to replace a water heater.
Water damage is one of the top fears of every homeowner. Inspect the area around your water heater. If you see water dripping from any pipes, leaking from the tank, or pooling around the unit, contact a plumber to come inspect the unit. The problem may be as simple as tightening up some of the connections, adjusting the pressure, or replacing a valve.
However, water leaking around a hot water heater could also be a sign that a connection needs to be replaced or the temperature/pressure-relief (or TPR) valve is faulty and needs to be replaced ASAP to prevent overheating. In addition, leaking might also mean that the tank has corroded or is cracked and you will need to replace the water heater.
Hot Water Shortage
If hot water is running out quickly or you struggle to get hot – rather than warm – water from the tap, this is a bad sign. When it takes the heater an excessively long time to warm up the water, there may be an electrical problem or sediment buildup around the burner or heating element. This is often an early warning sign that the heater is ready for replacement. An annual water tank flush can help extend the life of a water tank.
Varying Water Temperature
If you find yourself adjusting the dial on your showe a lot, your water heater may be sending you a message. Water that changes from hot to cold without reason, is a telltale sign that you should be contacting a plumber to purchase a new water heater.
Making Strange Noises
If you hear popping noises coming from the water heater, your heater may be close to failure. These sounds become more noticeable as the unit gets older and are caused when mineral formation and sediment build up – hardening inside the tank. The water heater then must consume more energy to do its job, making it less efficient.
Rusty or Cloudy Water
If the water coming out of the faucets is not clear, there could be a problem with the water heater. Rust deposits or a metallic odor coming out with hot water can signal either rusty pipes or rust inside the water heater. If the water is cloudy, it could mean that there are mineral deposits in the system. As deposit buildup, they can clog the flow of water and damage the heater components.
Using a water softener can can help slow this process. But as the noises get louder, we suggest you contact Trident, before it’s too late and the water heater fails and causes water damage.