People don’t think much about their water heaters until they start noticing signs of a problem. And, by then those problems often mean it’s time for a new unit. Fortunately, if you notice them early enough, you’ll have enough time to make the replacement without it being an emergency.
In this article, we’ll look at four common signs that it’s time to get a new water heater. If you can spot these early on, you’ll have time to pick out a new unit. That way, it’s not a rush job where you’re without hot water for a day or two.
We’ll break down what’s happening and how to factor in the age of your appliance as well. Then, we’ll talk a little about newer technology that offers advantages the older, conventional units don’t.
Four Signs You Need to Get a New Water Heater
Here are four signs that it’s time to consider getting a new water heater:
- Water Doesn’t Get Warm or Stay Warm
- The Unit Makes Rumbling Sounds
- Water Heater is Leaking
- Your Hot Water is Rusty
Let’s look closer at each of these.
Water Doesn’t Get Warm or Stay Warm
If your water never gets warm enough or you run out of hot water quicker than usual, it may be time for a replacement. At this point, one of two things is happening.
If you never get hot water, then the unit just plain is not working. At some point, it stopped heating, and now whatever’s in the tank is cold. Or, it’s struggling to do the job: As the unit gets older, it won’t work as well as it used to. The result is lukewarm temperatures, no matter how long you run the tap.
The second problem is a little more subtle. If you catch it, you’ve bought yourself time to weigh the options of repair versus replacing while the unit is still hopping along.
The Unit Makes Rumbling Sounds
Rumbling noises are a sign that sediment has built up inside your system. This happens naturally over time, but when it gets to the point that it’s creating weird sounds, you’re due for problems.
The sediment hardens as it cools and reheats over and over. At that point, you run the risk of getting a clog that prevents water from getting out. Or, it causes cracks and holes to form on the tank.
Water Heater is Leaking
Obviously, a leaking tank needs attention. The challenge here is that you may not spot it right away. These appliances are often tucked away in a corner or out-of-the-way spot in your home. And, since they don’t require much maintenance, people usually forget about them.
Until there’s a problem, of course.
You may hear a dripping sound or notice moisture on the ground around the unit. If so, grab a flashlight and do a thorough visual inspection. See if you can spot where water is seeping out of the tank.
If you find a leak, call your HVAC company right away. While it may be small at first, that crack can suddenly break open and pour out dozens of gallons of water.
Your Hot Water is Rusty
If your hot water has an orange tint or signs of rust, the tank is corroding from the inside. Enough oxygen has gotten in there to begin the oxidation process.
Get this checked immediately, because the next step here is springing a leak. Eventually, the inside rusts out enough that water gets through. In this case, a full-on break is much more likely because a large section of the tank is weakened and won’t hold.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to check inside the tank for rust. The only way you can tell is by noticing this change in the water coming out of your taps and faucets.
How Long Does a Water Heater Last?
On average, a conventional water heater lasts eight to 12 years. Start watching for problems after the unit is ten years old, and once you hit 12, begin thinking about a replacement, especially if you notice any issues.
With that in mind, it’s also essential to consider the age of the unit when determining if you need a new heater. Sometimes a leak or water not staying warm doesn’t mean you need to replace your unit.
Rather, the repair may be under warranty or still worth repairing. But, bear in mind also that, as the unit gets older, it becomes less efficient.
After you’ve had it for more than a decade, it’s using more energy to produce the same results. Meanwhile, manufacturers are always making the newest models even more efficient than ones from previous years. So, when you replace an old unit, there’s usually a drop in your utility bill.
Tankless Water Heater Installations in York, PA
If it’s time to replace your water heater, it’s also time to consider a tankless unit for your home in or around York, PA.
These new models don’t store water in large drums like the ones you’re used to. Instead, they heat water instantly as you turn on a tap, and the water comes in through the pipes.
You get a lot of advantages this way. The big one is never running out of hot water: Since you’re not storing a few dozen gallons at once, there’s no reserve that can go empty. Next, there’s the convenience of instantly having hot water: No running a sink or shower for a while, waiting for it to warm up.
As a result, you also save money on your water bill when you’re not flushing a couple of gallons down the drain each day. And, tankless units often work for up to 18 years, longer than conventional systems.
If you’re interested in a serious upgrade for your home, call or email us today at Air Comfort.