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Is It Time to Replace My Water Heater?
Hot water is one of those conveniences in our homes that we don’t fully appreciate until we don’t have it. Showering, clothes washing, doing the dishes—they all depend on hot water, so if something goes wrong with the water heater, we want it fixed fast. What we don’t want is to waste money repairing a water heater that really should be replaced. How can you tell when it’s time to replace your water heater? It depends on the kind of problem you’re having and on the age of your water heater when the problem occurs. Here are some common water heater problems and guidelines for repairing versus replacing.
Something is leaking. Gaskets, pipes, and pressure valves are external components of your water heater that can easily be replaced if they start to leak, and this type of leak typically doesn’t warrant a complete replacement. Conversely, if it’s your tank that’s leaking, your water heater will likely need replaced. The problem with leaks is that you don’t always know where they’re coming from by looking at a puddle on the floor, but an expert plumber can easily locate the source and advise you on the best course of action.
Water is too hot or not hot enough. Water that’s too hot or not hot enough is often easily corrected by adjusting the setpoint on the water heater. If you’re not comfortable adjusting the setpoint or you don’t know how, call a plumber to do it for you. If you find the setpoint is correct and you’re still having issues, there may be a problem with your water heater’s thermostat. Choosing to replace the thermostat will depend on two factors. The first is the type of water heater you have. It’s costlier and more complex to replace a thermostat on a gas water heater than it is on an electric water heater, so the expense of the repair may be a factor in your decision. The second is the age of your water heater. If it’s more than ten years old, you’ll probably want to consider investing in a new water heater instead of investing in repairs. An expert plumber can advise you on your options.
Hot water is rusty. If you’re suddenly noticing that your hot water is rusty in color, it’s usually a sign that your water heater tank is deteriorating internally. There is no repair for this condition. Replacement is the only cure. It is possible, however, that the rust may be coming from your pipes and not your water heater. The way to test this is to run cold water to see if you get the same rusty result. If the condition is only present when you run hot water, odds are good it’s your tank and not your pipes.
Water heater is noisy. A noisy water heater typically means that sediment and other substances have built up and hardened inside your tank. This is a common problem in areas that are known for hard water, and it not only affects the efficiency of the water heater, but it also can lead to leaks. Having a plumber flush your water heater tank is relatively inexpensive and can be effective at removing buildup and eliminating the noise. If flushing doesn’t solve the problem, it’s probably time to replace your water heater.
If you have concerns about your water heater and need advice on repairing versus replacing it, request an appointment with a trusted IT Landes plumber. To learn more about our water heater options, including tankless systems.