We take it for granted that we will always have reliable running hot water, but it all depends on the state of our water heater. If you been asking yourself, “when do I need to replace my water heater?” you’ve come to the right place. Here are eight signs to watch out for:
- Your water isn’t clear. If you been accustomed to nice clear water and it has suddenly turned a rust color, this could be a city water issue. More likely, it means that is time for a new water heater. Call the city, and if everything is okay on their end then you know when to hire a plumber.
- Your water is warm but not hot. If this happens, it’s often a sign that the heating element in your hot water heater is burning out. Make sure that the temperature gauge on your water heater is set between 120 and 140°. If it is and you still aren’t getting the hot water you need, then the answer to ” when do I need to replace my water heater?” is ” right now.”
- You know your hot water heater is reaching the end of its useful life. Even if you’re not experiencing any kind of problem, buying and installing a new hot water heater is not something you want to be forced to do suddenly. It’s smart to save up for this kind of expense, so think about how old your hot water heater is and how much it gets used. Most hot water heaters can be expected to last somewhere between 10 and 15 years of normal use. Normal use is typically defined for a family of four, who are expected to use about 400 gallons of water every day. If your family has six people or if you know that your regularly using more water than this, you need to consider that.
- You’re getting odd smells and tastes. If your hot water is starting to smell metallic or has a flavor to it this probably means that grit from inside the tank is getting into your water supply. That means the tank is slowly failing, and that means it’s time for finding the right plumber.
- You’re hearing strange noises from the hot water heater. If you’re hearing pops or cracks this usually means mineral buildup on the inside of the heater that is reacting with the heating elements. Mineral buildup will wreck a hot water heater, so if you’re starting to hear sounds like this it’s time to start asking “when do I need to replace my water heater?”
- You’ve got leaks. Any leaks that puddle around the hot water heater mean that the inner tank is probably reaching the bitter end. Don’t hesitate to call plumbing services, because that slow drip you see right now could become a huge flood tomorrow afternoon. Then you’ll be dealing with all kinds of water damage as well as buying a new water heater.
- Your water is muddy or filled with sand. This usually means that sediment is building up within the tank. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a new water heater. Sometimes it’s possible to just drain the heater and remove the sediment. It is something you need to check, and be prepared for the fact that when you go to remove the sediment you may find that the inner tank of your hot water heater is about gone.
- You’ve got no hot water. Okay, this is an easy one. If you’re wondering “when do I need to replace my water heater?” and you haven’t got any hot water at all, you probably know the answer to the question already. Check the breaker, but if there is no electrical problem it’s time to get a new hot water heater.
No one wants to think about having to splash out for a new heater, but in the end it could be beneficial. The newest ENERGY STAR water heaters are far more efficient than the old ones and can save you a lot of money in energy bills. If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s probably time for replacing a water heater.