Water heaters are an essential part of living comfortably in your home. From hot showers to cleaning dishes, hot water helps in almost every facet of your home. Even though water heaters last several years, at the end of their life they become inefficient and costly as they begin to wear down. This can create the difficult decision of trying to decide exactly when you should replace your water heater.
Signs Your Water Heater Should Be Replaced
Age is a critical factor when deciding to replace your water heater. As your water heater ages, more parts begin to fail, resulting in issues ranging from costly water leaks to a completely non-functioning water heater. The IBHS states that “water heater failures cost an average of $4,444 per incident after the deductible.” With this in mind, it is important to consider the average lifespan of a water heater, to determine when a replacement is necessary. In Central Kentucky for example, the average lifespan of a water heater is only 10-15 years. Despite this average, your water heater may continue to perform after a decade or only require occasional repairs. However, after a certain age and a certain number of repairs, it may be more cost effective to consider a complete water heater replacement.
In conjunction with age, leaks or signs of leaks, from your water heater can indicate it’s time to replace. Leaks are usually a sign that the inner shell of your water heater is wearing down. This issue can be an expensive fix, since patching the shell will only temporarily solve the leak. If you are experiencing a leak from your water heater, shut off your water and call a plumber. Even if the leak is minor, it may indicate a greater issue with your water heater. Ultimately, your plumber will determine the cause of any leak and advise you on the best solution to the leak.
-Loud Or Odd Noises
While it may seem odd, irregular or abnormal noises from your water heater, can indicate a need for replacement. Loud sounds, rumblings, or vibrations are usually caused by hard water. The minerals in hard water build up inside of your water heater over time, making it harder to heat the water. The heating element will have to heat through a layer of hardened minerals, taking it longer for it to properly heat the water. Sometimes these hardened minerals will break off, causing loud sounds as they move around your water heater. These noises can also result from the excess strain on your water heater. As the stress and strain of inefficiently heating your water wears them down, these parts can become extremely noisy. It is best, when you notice unusual sounds, to call a plumber for a professional opinion on the causes.
-Less Hot Water
Are you and your family frequently running out of hot water? A lack of hot water could indicate that it’s time for a new water heater. As your water heater ages, it will be less equipped to supply the same volume or temperature of hot water. These issues are usually a sign that your water heater’s heating element is wearing down. By the end of its lifespan, the heating element will no longer be able to efficiently heat your water or turn on at all. As an integral component of your water heater, a damaged heating element is an indication of a damaged water heater. Hard water is a major culprit of the damage, as the mineral collections wear down the metal inside of your water heater. While a heating element can be replaced, in many cases a complete replacement may actually be the more cost effective solution. The hard water will break down everything inside of a water heater, continuing to cause other problems, even after it is repaired. Regardless, it is always best to have a licensed plumber examine your water heater and advise you on any repair or replacement decisions. Experienced plumbers will be able to accurately diagnose any issues, and give you personalized advice tailored to your home’s needs.
To schedule a plumbing system check for your water heater, or for tips on how to extend the life of your water heater, call the Professional Plumbers at H2O Maestro at 859-361-7925.