Don’t end up wading through a flooded basement or coming home to a house full of soggy carpets and ruined wood floors. Replace your hot water heater before a catastrophic failure like this. Know what to look for, and you might save yourself a lot of frustrating issues that are easy to blame on other things. Here are four signs you need to replace your water heater.
Brownish hot water or metal flecks in the water can be caused by rust inside the water tank or in the pipes. At a minimum, this issue should be evaluated by a plumber to determine the source. However, if you only notice this problem when you switch from cold water to hot water, the issue is probably the hot water heater.
Let’s be honest – little leaks are warnings of a big flood yet to come. That water may be coming from pin-sized rust holes, but it will eventually suffer a catastrophic failure. Little leaks from around valves and inlets will become major ones eventually. Leaks from thin cracks you don’t see will only grow larger. The only other explanation is a leak from fittings and overflow pipes. If the fittings are tight enough and the overflow pipes aren’t the source, replace the heater now before it completely fails. A serious mold problem could be a sign that there’s already a minor leak you want to address now.
Water heaters should be replaced as they reach their expiration date. Depending on the unit, that is anywhere from eight to 12 years. You can determine the expiration date by looking up the manufacturer’s serial number. The letter at the start of the serial number indicates the month it was manufactured in. A is for January, while G is for July. The serial numbers after that represent the year in which it was made. Thus, a serial number G061234567 was made in July 2006, while the next digits are the actual serial number.
You should consider a new hot water tank installation if your unit is more than eight years old, regardless of official life expectancy, because newer designs are more energy efficient. You’d save on your energy bills while ensuring you won’t have to worry about a catastrophic failure for years. It also mitigates the risk that your excessively hard water or poor maintenance routine shortened the life of the unit.
Another sign your water heater needs to be replaced is the sounds it makes. Rumbling noises that get louder and louder are a sign it is deteriorating. This noise may be due to sediment buildup in the hot water tank, so first, flush it out before assuming it has to be replaced. If the noise remains an issue, then it needs to be replaced. Hot water heaters that creak, too, are on the verge of cracking and should be replaced before they crack and leak.
We’ve shared the warning signs that should drive you to get a new hot water heater. Note that you may want to buy a new one simply to end the constant string of repairs or continual hot water shortage in your home too.
contributed by: Eago Canada, foremost experts in bathroom fixtures