Wouldn’t it be great if all of the essentials in your home lasted forever? As it is, though, heaters, air conditioners, plumbing components, and water heaters take on a lot of wear and tear, which means these systems will need replacement in a matter of time. The problem is that it can be so tough to tell when any of these hidden components in your home, like a water heater, will need replacement.
You need your water heater to work year round—whether it’s cold or 100°F outside—which means it can take on a lot of wear and tear over the years. Because it’s hidden from view, you might need a bit of help knowing when it’s showing signs of failing so that you can schedule that replacement.
Any Signs the Tank Is Leaking
When the tank of your water heater is leaking, it means trouble. Corrosion occurs when rust begins to take hold of your water heater, and there’s no stopping it once it begins. Your water heater has multiple safeguards in place to prevent corrosion, including a tank liner and a sacrificial anode rod, but these components need to be properly maintained to hold up. Otherwise, your tank may be done for sooner than expected.
However, we’d like to make it clear that this is only the case if the tank is what’s leaking—not if there is leaking from another component of the water heater. For example, leaking from the drain valve or the temperature-and-pressure valve likely just means that single valve needs replacement—not the whole tank!
When You Run Out of Hot Water Too Soon
Another sign that a water heater is failing is when it cannot provide enough hot water for your entire household. If you’ve got two showers and a 5-person household, for example, two people should be able to successfully finish overlapping showers without worrying about running out of hot water. This isn’t always the case.
Your water heater may not be the proper size for your home if you run out of water sooner than expected (especially if this has been true since you first installed it). Your home has two showers for a reason, and you shouldn’t have to put up with timing showers or waiting hours between them. Make sure you choose a qualified contractor to pick out your new water heater and see that it’s the proper size for your household, so this doesn’t happen again.
When Your Tank Is Getting Old
If your hot water tank is nearing about 10-15 years of age, it may be time to consider a replacement. The sooner, the better with these sorts of things, or else you might be caught without your hot water heater when you need it most.
It might be hard to let go of an older water heater if it might have a few good years left, and it could just be that it needs a good tune up if it’s not working properly. However, if you have an older water heater that has trouble keeping up temperatures and costs you a lot of money to run, it probably makes the most sense to replace it now and avoid a breakdown later. Besides, a new high-efficiency tank should help you save quite a bit of money each month.