Your water heater is one of the most important parts of your home, accounting for up to 30 percent of the household budget. Yet most of us simply wait until our water heater starts leaking or stops heating water properly before investing in a water heater replacement. And selecting and buying the right water heater can be a frustrating task.
You shouldn’t wait until a major catastrophe happens. Here are a few signs to look for so that you don’t find yourself taking an unexpected cold shower.
How Old Is Your Water Heater?
It’s important to keep your heater’s age in mind. Your water heater is like any other household appliance; it ages. Its performance begins to deteriorate over time due to the amount of usage, the size of the family it supports, and how much water it heats daily. Most water heaters will last between 8 and 12 years. Here are some details to pay attention to.
Is it nearer to the 8th or 12th year?
Near the top of your water heater you’ll find the manufacturer’s sticker. This will have the manufacturer’s name, your heater’s make and serial number, and a few other bits of information. Most importantly, it will list the year your water heater was made. Use this information in conjunction with the following factors to best determine when to call us out.
How large is your family?
The size of your family affects the lifespan of your water heater as well. Larger families will require the heater to heat more water during the day, causing more wear and tear.
How much water is used daily?
Water heaters in smaller households with low water usage can last longer than the average 12-year lifespan. If you have a larger family or own a business where more water is required, the heater will work harder over a long period of time, causing symptoms of wear and tear to present sooner. If you fall into the second category, give us a call. We can come inspect your heater and recommend a replacement or we can install a water heater better suited to your needs.
Is It Rusty and/or Corroded?
As the water heater ages, deposits begin to collect inside. These deposits can begin to flow into your sinks and tubs. If you begin to notice rust-colored or metallic tasting water or notice corrosion building on the water heater, call a professional for a diagnosis. They’ll be able to recommend replacing or repairing the heater before it’s too late.
Is It Leaking?
Leaks are infuriating. They seem to happen at the worst times and can be a huge inconvenience. Water heater leaks can be caused by faulty manufacturing or by the constant heating and expanding as the years go by. Don’t wait until your hallway or garage floods.
If you notice any water around the heater or in your hallway:
- Check the tank and fittings for leaks.
- Look for corrosion or drips near the drain valve.
- Look for drips or leaks while the heater is heating. The metal expands while hot and the slightest crack will allow water through. The crack may not be large enough for water to escape while it’s cool, so you may not notice the problem for a long time.
Are You Hearing Rumbling or Other Noises?
Over your water heater’s lifespan, it’s constantly heating and reheating gallons of water. This process causes the metal to rust or break down, resulting in sediment collecting at the bottom of the tank. Eventually, there is enough sediment to create noise while the heater is on. The older your heater is, the more difficult it is to heat water due to the sediment and corrosion. The result is a less efficient tank that can only produce lukewarm (or cold) water.
These noises and temperature inefficiencies are a sure sign your tank is ready to be replaced.
We understand that the last thing on your mind is a water heater replacement. We offer dependable water heater service in the Katy, Cinco Ranch, and Sugarland areas. If you find you need a new water heater, contact Capital Care Plumbing today. We are your water heater repair and installation experts anytime, 24 hours a day.