When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

Do you know how many times a day you use your water heater? Between showers and baths, cooking, dishwashing, laundry and washing your hands, it is estimated that the average person may use water with some degree of warmth as many as 20 times per day.

When you multiply this by the number of people in your home, it is easy to see the demands that are being placed on your water heater. When your home’s hot water heater is running smoothly, you may not give it a second thought.

As long as hot water is available to you every time you need it, you may not have much reason to take a look at your hot water heater. However, these heaters have a limited lifespan and eventually need to be replaced, even with the best care and maintenance.

Signs That It Is Time For A Water Heater Replacement

It is important to be aware of the signs that it may be time to replace your water heater before you end up having to take a series of cold showers or make alternative bathing arrangements while waiting for a tank replacement. Here is a look at some of the signs that it may be time to replace your water heater.

It Is Getting Too Old

Most electric water heaters are designed to last somewhere between eight and ten years. It is generally recommended that water heaters are replaced at the ten-year mark, but it may be necessary to replace yours well before it hits this point.

Gas water heaters tend to last between six and eight years, however. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, you can take a look at the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker. This is typically found on the upper half of the tank.

It contains a series of numbers, and the first number that follows the letter indicates the last two digits of the year in which the tank was manufactured. For example, if the number on your label begins with D06, it means the tank was manufactured in 2006.

It Is Making A Lot Of Noise

One of the more obvious signs that your water heater needs to be replaced is noise coming from the tank. As heaters age, they will begin to emanate rumbling noises that grow increasingly louder when the tank heats up water. This may be caused by a buildup of sediment forming on the bottom of the tank that hardens and grows thicker over time.

This can wear down the water heater, causing inefficiency and damage. Although annual flushing can drain sediment from the tank and will enable it to work more efficiently, an aging tank may still make noise after being flushed, which is a sure sign that replacement is needed.

There Are Leaks

While not all leaks from a hot water tank warrant a replacement, leaks caused by expansions to the metal within the tank over time are a sign that the water heater needs to be replaced.

However, it is important to keep in mind that leaks that originate from the fittings and connections to the tank may simply be repaired. It is essential to call a plumber for a professional opinion.

The Water Heater Is Not Heating

If you notice that the water in your home is not heating up as expected, this could be another sign that your tank needs replaced.

While a misadjusted thermostat or a broken heating element may also cause this problem and are relatively easy fixes, it could be the case that your water heater is too small to provide your home with enough hot water. If so, you will need to purchase a new one.

You Observe Rust

Rust is often a warning sign of oncoming leaks when it is spotted on water pipes or tanks that are made of steel. It can be difficult to determine whether the rust is coming from the water heater or the pipes. Either way, this is something that needs to be addressed immediately because it is potentially dangerous.

If rust is appearing in the hot water that comes from the faucets in your home, it is likely that your water heater is rusting due to age. If you see rust around the pressure relief valve on the heater or the water inlet, that is also a sign that rusting is occurring inside your tank.

Again, a replacement is the only option in this case. However, if cold tap water is coming out rusty, the rust could be coming from your pipes instead. A plumber can help you determine whether the pipes or the tank are to blame.

Reach Out To Our Water Heater Replacement Professionals

Serving Northern Virginia since 1928, the master plumbers at Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling are experienced in repairing and replacing hot water heaters.

Reach out today to find out how our emergency and routine residential plumbing services can ensure your home has a steady supply of safe, warm water.

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