A water heater is a very vital piece of equipment in most households. It provides warm, consistent running water for laundry, cooking, and dish cleaning, to name a few. Due to continuous use, the water heater is prone to wear and tear.

The last thing you would ever want to experience is getting a water heater system emergency that will force you to stay without water for a while. To avoid such issues, you should replace your unit early enough before it stops working to prevent interruptions. Look out for the following signs that will help you determine when it’s right to replace your water heater.

1. When It Starts Making Strange Noises

As the water heater ages, sediments begin to build up at the bottom of the tank. When heating the water, the deposits harden and grows thicker, so you will start to hear knocking and rumbling noises from the tank. A heater with sediments will take a long time to heat the water and consumes more energy. The more the heater runs at this condition, the higher the likelihood of tank cracking.

Calling a professional to flush the tank each year can help expel the sediments and increase its lifespan. However, if you hear the noises even after flushing, it means that the tank is near the endpoint, so be prepared to replace it soon.

2. If It’s Too Old

Nothing lasts forever, and at a specific point, your water heater will reach the end of its lifespan. There is a label printed on the water heater, with some technical facts. Among the details, you will find the manufacturer’s date. If you can’t find it, check the date on the manufacture’s website. Most water heaters last between eight to ten years. If the heater is beyond this age, it would be best to replace it even if it’s working adequately.

3. When You Get Rusty Water Out of the Tap

Steel tanks and pipes erode with time, and the rusty particles can end up in your water. Rust is a sign of oncoming leaks. It’s difficult to determine whether the rust is from pipes or the tank. If rusty water runs out of your sink or bathtub tap, chances are, you have a rusty water heater.

If you spot rust around the inlet or pressure relief valve, it’s a sign that there is rust in the tank, which calls for immediate replacement. One way to know whether the rust originates from the pipes or tank is by emptying a few buckets of water from the tank. If it still comes out rusty, then replace the entire unit.

4. If the Water Tank Leaks

When the water heater is near the end of life expectancy, you might begin to notice water spots around the tank or on the floor. Mostly a leak starts small, and by the time you know, it has probably damaged your carpeting, walls, or attracted molds based on the location.

The heat causes metal to expand, and upon multiple heating cycles, a slight fracture may form. You will then begin to experience a small drip leak. After some time, as the metal continues to expand and contract, you are at risk of a tank burst. Call a professional to install a new tank once you notice minor leaks before it grows into a larger crack.

5. When You Notice Rising Energy Bills

A water heater is among the highest energy consumers in a household. If you find that your energy bills appear higher than usual for reasons you can’t explain, it’s a good idea that you check the water heater.

An old unit uses more energy to get your water to the desired temperature. Also, if the heater has some failing components, it will struggle to heat the water resulting in high energy consumption. In such a case, it’s economical to have the unit replaced.

6. In Case of Reduced Water Capacity

If you notice that you are running out of hot water quickly, consider replacing your heater. Due to significant wear and tear, the water heater may begin to record reduced capacity. You will start to notice that the water runs out after two to three showers and that it no longer meets your family’s needs. Sometimes it happens due to a dying thermostat, heating element, or both.

Other times, your tank may not hold as much water as it used to due to sediment accumulation. It also happens when the equipment in your house uses too much water than the tank can manage. If you run a washing machine, dishwasher, and, at the same time, take a shower, or if more people move into your house, you will use up all the water faster. Consider replacing your water heater with a bigger one.

7. Fluctuating Water Temperature

If your tank produces no hot water or the water turns quickly cold, you need to be a little careful with it. One time you are enjoying a hot shower, the water turns cold back to normal and hot within seconds. It’s a common indication of an old water heater system that can’t feed out water at a constant pressure.

When you have a clogged water heater, it causes water temperature fluctuation too. Additionally, when the heating element becomes faulty, for instance, when there is a bad connection, it can no longer heat the water. Have your unit replaced if you want to enjoy a more consistent water temperature.

8. Unpleasant Water Smell

When you run your hot water taps and notice an unusual smell, it’s a sign of metal breakdown in the tank. You might even identify the metallic taste when you drink the water. It indicates massive sediments in your tank, which creates hard water. At this point, you need a new water heater.

9. Increasing Repair Needs

Track the total number of repairs done on your system in a year. If it’s more than two times, then it’s time to consider a replacement. Constant maintenance means that your unit is nearing the endpoint, and the cost of repair can add up. Instead of paying a lot of money for service calls, you can save it for a new unit.

Summing up

Water is a highly used resource at home, and a majority of the daily usages requires some degree of warmth. Hence, when a water heater begins to fail, you should resolve the issue quickly to avoid inconveniences. Some homeowner chooses to repair instead of replacing a faulty water heater. However, for some significant problems fixing will only keep the unit running for some time, and eventually, it will break down. It’s, therefore, a good idea that you consider a water tank replacement.

If you need help with your water heater, you can always reach out to Reactive Plumbing. We have a team of expert plumbers who deliver quick and high-quality services. From safe removal of your older unit, proper sizing, and installation, we take care of all details. Our company also deals with drain clearing, leaky taps repair, backflow prevention, toilet unblocking, and plumbing system maintenance services. We serve residents of the Hills District and Sydney in New South Wales. Call us today to book an appointment and enjoy our exceptional services.

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