Is your old water heater giving you signs that it might be time to replace it? In general, storage-style electric and gas water heaters last between 8-12 years. Before they near the end of their service life, they may work like a clock, without any issues.
However, at some point, you may start noticing problems that were not there before, and if its an old heater, it makes more sense to replace rather than repair it. This guide will help you decide whether replacing your old hot water heater is the best option.
1. Frequent problems that require repairs
Tank-style electric and gas water heaters can experience the following problems:
- Bad smell of the water
- Water leaks (if the tank itself is leaking, its a sure sign that it has corroded as a result of old age and needs to be replaced)
- No hot water
- Water is there, but its not hot enough/there are frequent temperature fluctuations
While each of these problems does not indicate on its own that its time to get a new heater (in fact most can be fixed), if you start experiencing issues frequently, its a very telling sign that the device is old and needs to be replaced. Moreover, if you find that your repair bills start to add up, it may be a smart financial decision to replace the heater, rather than continue dumping money into repairs.
2. Age of the water heater
If you know the age of your water heater, and its nearing the end of its service life, you may want to consider replacing it, BEFORE it starts giving you major trouble. It often happens that a heater works perfectly well, and just before due to expire, it gives a major leak, which is more like a flood. If this happens, you may encounter costly repairs from water damage, in addition to the cost of replacing the device itself.
3. Rusty color water coming out of faucet/shower
If there is rusty color water coming out, when you turn on hot water, it may be a sign that your heater has started to rust from the inside due to old age. To make sure that this is the case is to drain your hot water heater. If by the third bucket, the water is still coming out rusty, its most likely the heater’s problem. If the water starts to get clear, it means that the heater itself is functional, but the piping is rusty.
If you decide that you don’t want to replace your old but still functional heater, its recommended to hire a pro, like one from Clear Drain Plumbing, to do an inspection and maintenance. Just to make sure that you will not be slammed with a sudden problem, when you least expect it.