When Should I Replace my Water Heater?

One of the most essential features in your home is your water heater. On a daily basis, the average homeowner uses hot water approximately twenty times for purposes such as showers/baths, washing hands, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Indeed, it is hard to imagine life without hot water, so it’s important to know when you should replace your water heater.

Not sure when to replace your unit? Here are five signs to look for:

1. It’s Old

Sadly, a water heater doesn’t last forever. Typically, a standard unit (with a tank) will last a minimum of eight years. Indeed, if your water heater is more than ten years old, you should consider replacing it before a potential problem occurs. However, when you do replace it your storage tank unit, you might also want to think about replacing it with a tankless model, which can last twice as long (and is quite energy efficient, too).

2. Visibly Rusty Tank and/or Is Producing Rusty Water

Believe it or not, many hot water tanks are typically made out of steel, which will eventually rust. The best way to check if your unit is rusting is to first observe the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve), followed by the connections that lead water in/out of the overall unit.

However, if you spot rust in one of these prime locations (or in the hot water itself), then you should seriously consider replacing your water heater immediately. If you do happen to ignore these signs, then your tank has the possibility to rupture, causing irreversible water damage to your home.

3. Making Noises

As your water heater ages, you might notice some unpleasant rumbling sounds emanating when the water heats up. Of course, this is likely due to sediment building up in the bottom of the tank, which is common to find amongst most water heaters.

However, if you hear these sounds, you should flush your water heater — which is something you should be doing once a year. Now, if you happen to flush your unit often, but still hear unsettling sounds, then this probably means that sediment has built up for an extended period — and your water heater should be replaced before the tank cracks.

Of course, there is the possibility that a tank with excessive sediment can also be highly inefficient and still work, but will make your energy costs rise significantly (and you might not even notice it).

4. It’s Leaking

Indeed, it’s not uncommon for water heaters to leak when they get older. If you do happen to notice water around the base of your unit, then it’s essential to first check the temperature and pressure relief valve, in addition to the connections that lead water in and out of your water heater, as mentioned earlier.

However, if the water is coming from the tank itself, then it likely means that the leaks are caused by expansions in the unit’s metal composition. If you tend to notice that water is blatantly coming from any of these places, then you should schedule a visit from Centennial Plumbing Heating, & Electrical right away to assess the problem at hand.

5. Hot Water is Scarce

If your water heater is not producing hot water as well as it once did (or not at all), then there are a few parts within that might be causing this fault.

This includes:

  • The heating element

  • The electric thermostat

  • The dip tube

Indeed, a plumber can help determine the exact cause and recommend a course of action, including replacing the water heater.

You may also find that your water heater is not heating the water properly because your demands for hot water have significantly increased. In this case, you may want to consider replacing the water heater with a larger tank model or even a tankless unit.

Looking to replace your water heater? Give us a call at (306) 500-1296 to schedule your water heater replacement today! At Centennial Plumbing Heating, & Electrical, we have been providing exemplary service since 1967.