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When do you know you need a water heater replacement? How long does a water heater last? These are questions a plumber can answer and judge from the manufacturer’s recommendations. The lifespan of water heaters is between 8-12 years. However, those numbers could vary depending on the location, installation, design, quality of the water, and planned maintenance of the unit.
If you have an older unit, it could have some leaks. Look for water around the bottom of the tank. If you spot water, then it could be time to replace the tank. In addition, if your unit doesn’t heat up every time you need hot water, you may need water heater replacement. Is it possible it’s time to upgrade to a more modern model? If you purchase a tankless water heater, its life expectancy could go over 20 years.
For Optimal Efficiency
For residents in Normal, IL who have hard water, plumbers recommend checking water heaters about once or twice a year. Plumbers are experts and know that proper maintenance is crucial to even the best electric water heater and a heater that lasts up to 12 years or more. Drain, flush and clean the unit routinely. Without maintenance, homeowners can expect to replace or repair their unit sooner than suggested.
Troubleshoot problems before replacing or repairing units. It could be an electrical problem that’s causing the cold showers in your home. Sometimes the breaker trips and causes minor annoyances. You also should check to see if it blew a fuse. If this is the case, you won’t need a water heater replacement. But you can check a few more possibilities.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
There are many signs to let you know it’s time for a water heater replacement. The first sign is that your water heater is not performing at its best. Some matters are easy to resolve, and almost anyone can fix a small problem, while other issues will require homeowners to call a professional.
Electric Water Heater
- Is the power cord connected, and is the thermostat reset?
- Remove the sediment from the tank by flushing the heater
- Protect the (hot water) pipes
Put in a new thermostat or heating element
- Increase the thermostat temperature
Gas Water Heater
- Make sure that the pilot lights are on and the gas is connected
- Remove sediment by flushing the heater
- Insulate hot water pipes
- Clean the gas burner and put in another heat connector (thermocouple)
- Increase the thermostat temperature
Often people start to notice an unusually high electric bill or lukewarm water when it should be scolding hot. If this is your case, call a plumber in Normal, IL, who knows how to replace a water heater. But before you pick up the phone, however, use this guide. It will help determine if you need a replacement water heater, thermostat, heating element, or something else.
Leaks from Water Heaters Spells Trouble
If your unit is leaking, you should consider water heater replacement right away. Leaks are generally one way to tell if the pressure is building up in the tank. This spike means that the temp is abnormally high, and the relief valve is malfunctioning. Seeing signs of leaks only means there’s trouble brewing inside the tank. Avoid the worst scenario and call Covenant Plumbing ASAP.
You Hear Weird Noises
Knocks and loud noises indicate sediment build-up. As the sediment gets hard, the build-up will make sounds inside the tank. This knocking, growling, or gurgling could cause the tank to decay early. To conserve the water heater, flush the unit regularly.
Cold, Rusty, and Cloudy Water
Water that’s rusty or has an odor is a sure indication that something is wrong, and you may need a water heater replacement. These are signs the tank is rusting out, or the sacrificial anode rod needs replacement. Either way, a rusty tank is never a good sign.
Additional Everyday Problems and Potential Solutions
- If you hear sizzling noises or hissing sounds, it could be that sediment may have accumulated in the tank. The plumber will drain the unit of all the water. Then, take the elements off and soak them up to an hour in a container of white vinegar and scrape off the gunk.
- If the pressure relief valve is leaking, then replace the valve.
- Tightening the fittings on the leaking pipes should fix the leak. However, if it does not, turn the water off and put new fittings on.
When Replacement Is Necessary
You may not have to replace the water heater after all. You can repair it if the unit is under 10-years old and if the part is replaceable. If the heating unit is over 10-years old and the water heater has not been taken care of, consider replacing the worn unit. You can replace it with a similar water heater or you can upgrade to an energy-efficient heater with a 40-50 gallon capacity.
To help you decide if you want to tackle the job or call a plumber for water heater replacement, think about these questions.
- What are the laws concerning disposal of the unit? Check with local laws about disposing of water heaters before throwing out the old tank.
- Are you able to physically remove the unit by yourself? Water heaters are made of metal and can be extremely difficult to move. Do you have someone to help you?
- Plumbers have tools to complete a job. Do you have the right tools? Installing a water heater requires a variety of devices. You’ll need screwdrivers, a saw, wrenches, pliers, and a torch if the tank requires copper piping.
- Once you start, you can’t leave it to do next week. Do you have time to finish what you started on the same day?
If you don’t have the experience, call the people who do. Covenant Plumbing offers 24-hour emergency water heater replacement and repair service. Trust Covenant Plumbing for water heater replacement, repair, and maintenance. They are professional plumbers and skilled experts.