A good water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. From heating water for dishwashers and washing machines to hot showers and cleaning, hot water is a daily necessity for every family.
Hot water heaters are not something you may think about a lot, but when signs of trouble start to appear it’s critically important to call a professional service to determine if your water heater can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.
At Lynn’s, we get all sorts of questions about hot water tanks and have put together a list of warning signs that indicate you may need a new hot water heater sooner than later.
Signs You Might Need A New Hot Water Heater
Dirty / Rusty Water
If brown or rust colored water comes out of the hot water taps of your kitchen sink, bathroom, or shower, it may be time to replace your water heater. Rust is a telltale sign of your water pipes and tank corroding on the inside, which often leads to cracks and leaking soon after. If you can see rust on the outside of your tank, it’s very likely already on the inside.
Rust in the water doesn’t ALWAYS mean needing a new heater. The zinc anode rod is made to attract the inevitable corrosion that happens when water and metal mix. This rod can wear out and lead to rusty water.
How do you know if rusty water is caused by the anode rod or the heater failing?
A professional plumbing service like Lynn’s HVAC will come out for an inspection to let you know if you need a new hot water heater or a simple repair and replacement of the anode rod.
Doesn’t Produce Hot Water
No one likes a sudden blast of ice-cold in the middle of a nice hot shower. As hot water heaters age, they get worse at heating water as well as becoming less efficient due to sediment build-up.
If the issue is a broken heating element and your heater is still relatively new, a licensed plumber can be called to replace the element, saving you the need to buy a whole new heater.
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with the water heater but the unit is too small for the household’s needs. Has there been an increase in the number of people using the water, or has consumption increased? If so it may be time to replace your water heater with a bigger unit.
Hot Water Tank Is Leaking
Leaks in any of your household appliances are a bad sign, especially one that contains water. Leaks develop over the years as the water tank continually heats and cools. If you notice water pooled around the base of your heater, it is likely time to replace your heater. You want to get that looked at by a qualified plumber immediately before small fractures get larger and risk bursting.
If you see leaks coming from your hot water heater:
- Turn off the water heater
- Turn off the water value that feeds into the tank
- Call a professional plumber
Strange Noises Coming From Your Hot Water Heater
Odd noises coming from your water heater is always cause for concern. If you hear popping, cracking, rumbling, banging, or any other unusual noise, contact a hot water repair technician. Odd noises can be an early indicator of other malfunctions, so if you hear noises, be sure to check for leaks as well.
Your Water Heater Is Old
Most water heaters have a lifespan of 8-15 years. A unit over 10 years old is nearing the end of its life, and will soon need replacing. If you’re unsure how old your water heater is, you can find this information on the serial number. Sometimes the first two numbers represent the year, and sometimes there is a number representing the month and the year number following. Make sure to check the water heater manual or manufacturer’s website to find this out.
Your Water Heater Need’s Frequent Repairs
One of the most common warning signs for any appliance is needing constant repairs and maintenance done for it to run properly. Repeated repair costs add up quickly, and may not be worth continually sinking money into a water heater that’s just going to cause more problems down the track.
Sediment or Sand Build Up In Your Water Heater Tank
If your hot water looks muddy or sandy, you likely have a build-up of sediment at the bottom of your hot water heater tank. Sometimes you can clean out the sediment yourself or by calling a plumber, but if the problem persists or other problems such as leaks and rust appear, it may be time to consider replacing your water heater.
Is It Time To Replace Your Hot Water Heater?
If you’ve noticed any of these water heater warning signs in your home, the first thing you should do is call a professional hot water technician for an assessment. At Lynn’s HVAC, we’ll assess, diagnose, and recommend the right solution for your needs. We’ll take the time to walk you through every step of the process and discuss all options available to you. Call us today to schedule an appointment.