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When to Replace Your Water Heater

Water Heater

Like most household equipment used on a daily basis, all types of water heaters require maintenance checks, as they all have their own life spans and will eventually need replacing. There is a lot of reliance on heating systems due to our incredibly demanding lifestyles, and so having your heater in good condition is important for the running of your household. If it fails, you need to replace it fast, and this can get costly, especially if the parts or services you need are not readily available!

You don’t want to replace it unnecessarily, but you also don’t want to leave it to the last minute. So, when is it time to replace your water heater?

Tank and Tankless Water Heaters

There are two main types of water heaters: a tank water heater and a tankless water heater system.

The most common form of a water heater is the tank system, which is usually either gas or electric powered. These tanks not only heat the water, but store the heated water as well, and are usually insulated to keep the tank warm between heating cycles.

If you do not have a tank, you probably have a tankless gas heating system. Having no tank means that you’re not spending money on energy used to keep stored water heated. These tankless water heaters heat water only when you use it. However, it does take a lot of energy to flash heat water on demand.

Know the Signs of a Faulty Water Heater

There are a number of indicators of a faulty water heater – here are some of the more common ones you should be aware of:

  • Leak or water build up. Causes water damage and wastes energy.
  • Water displacement: This is when your tank has rust or sediment. Sediment that sinks to the bottom of the tank can cause it to overheat, which can damage the heater and use more energy. A good sign of this is rusty colored water, or your tank has visible rust on it. To get rid of the sediment requires a professional to flush it out.
  • If the water is taking longer than usual to heat up or reach the taps.
  • Cold water from your heater is an obvious sign that something is wrong! This could be caused by numerous problems, such as faulty heating element or lack of power.
  • If you are using more water than before, the increase in consumption can also be the cause of poorly heated water – consider getting a bigger tank if this is the issue.
  • If anything seems out of sorts, for example:
    • strange sounds (rumbles and popping sounds, or anything out or the ordinary).
    • odors, such as egg rotten smell.
    • inability to produce water, sticky valves, thermostat problems or electrical trips may be the cause.

Once you have discovered a problem with your water heater, you will have to decide whether to repair or replace your water heater. The life span of your water heater depends on design, model, age and type of heater used. Some technicians say that the average life span of any water heater is 6-12 years, while others say 10 years and under. It is not easy to pinpoint the exact expiration date due to all the variables involved, and this is why you need to know how to detect a fault.

At Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric we recommend this standard rule to follow: If your water heater can be considered old, replace it as soon as problems arise!