What if you ended up in “hot water” by having no hot water at all?
Over the years, you will eventually need to replace your hot water heater. However, many homeowners don’t know how to recognize the important signs that it’s time for a replacement.
Wondering about the signs you need a new hot water heater? Keep reading to discover what they are!
1. The Clock Has Been Ticking for a While
Generally speaking, water heaters don’t last that long. In fact, most of them only make it to around 10 or 15 years with standard manufacturer warranties of most tanks only up to 6 years.
However, most homeowners don’t know exactly how old the water heater is. You may have just bought your 2004 house last year, but the water heater inside may be downright ancient.
Try to figure out exactly when your current heater was installed. All the metro areas like Oklahoma City, Edmond, The Village require an installation inspection. So look for a green approval sticker with an inspection date or write down the serial number and model number and reach out to the tank manufacturer for a build date. All the main manufacturers have a web presence and usually can be reached by email for an easy response. If you find your tank is old enough to have its own driver’s license, then you should consider getting a replacement.
2. Repair Can Only Do So Much
When it comes to major appliances, there is an eternal debate: should I replace it or just repair it?
We like to compare your hot water heater to a car. The first few times it breaks down and you need to call a professional, then it’s not really a big deal.
However, when it’s breaking down all the time, you’re basically throwing good money after bad on repair bills. And you’re probably counting down to some kind of catastrophic damage that you won’t be able to repair.
If you have more water heater repair receipts than you have fingers, then it’s time to get it replaced. Otherwise, you can do some easy maintenance to make the heater last longer.
3. Lack of Hot Water
Some of the signs your hot water is going out are more obvious than others. And here’s the most obvious sign of all: you don’t have any hot water!
It can be difficult to diagnose exactly which part of your water heater is acting up. But if you have no hot water, the diagnosis is simple: your heater isn’t doing its job.
As we said before, a repair may be a better choice than replacement. If the water heater is young and hasn’t been repaired much, then a pro can make it as good as new in no time at all.
However, if it has a history of repairs and you have a laundry list of signs, then it’s time to just replace it.
4. Dirtwater Revival
You can obviously detect a lack of hot water once you get into the bath. But you may be able to detect a problem with your water heater long before you get in the water.
In some cases, an old and damaged water heater may be rusting. And you can see that kind of rust coloration in the water as the faucet runs. Similarly, if there is sediment inside the heater, you will see that within the water.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t be bathing in dirty water. And when you can tell the water is dirty with a single glance, then it’s time to replace the hot water heater.
5. Bring the Noise
We’re continuing our tour of the senses with your ears. Even if you cannot see or feel a problem with your hot water heater, you may be able to hear it.
Sometimes, a hot water heater is acting up because sediment has gotten inside of it. And this sediment makes a tell-tale “banging” noise when the hot water heater is operational.
Again, we recommend thinking of your water heater like a car. If either device starts making weird, loud noises during use, then it’s time to either repair or replaces the entire unit.
6. Can You Smell That Smell?
Do you have a sensitive sense of smell? In that case, you may be able to detect problems with the water heater without even opening your eyes.
As we said, a bad water heater is going to be dumping unwanted contaminants in your water. This includes rust and dirt that leave the water looking very nasty.
Those same contaminants also have a unique smell. Clean water doesn’t smell like anything at all. If your water smells dirty, musty, or otherwise weird, then it’s time to call a pro.
7. Corrosion and Decay
So far, we have focused on signs your hot water heater is going out that are visible in the water. However, there may be some important signs on the heater itself.
If you see rust or other corrosion on your water heater, then it’s time to replace it. This is because such corrosion is ultimately irreversible.
It’s also ultimately inevitable as well. The question isn’t if your heater will rust but when, which is another reason that many heaters need to be replaced because they have gotten old.
As we said, water heater corrosion is less noticeable than contaminated water. Try to visually inspect your heater at least once a week so that this kind of damage doesn’t sneak up on you.
Most signs your hot water heater is going out are found in the water itself. But that water is not always in your sinks and tubs!
A water leak around the heater is another sure sign it needs to be replaced. These leaks may occur when the heater is running or even just standing still.
In most cases, the leaks are due to corrosion or other damage affecting the heater. This corrosion is the beginning of the end, but you can’t always see it on the surface of the heater.
However, it’s hard to ignore a standing puddle of water. If your socks are getting wet when you stand next to the heater, then you need a new heater. And if you’re worried about unseen leaks, you can always call a pro.
Signs You Need a New Hot Water Heater: The Bottom Line
Now you know the signs you need a new hot water heater. But do you know who can help you with every stage of repair and replacement?
We make all plumbing matters smooth and easy for every customer. To see how we can help with your hot water heater, just make an appointment today!