Your water heater is an important plumbing fixture in your home. It ensures that hot water is always available to you to use to wash your hands, shower, clean and cook. Your water heater, like any other appliance, will eventually wear out. You’ll need to replace your water heater in Bloomington, IL, at least every decade, sometimes more often, sometimes less. How can you tell when it is time to replace your water heater? Here’s a list of factors to consider when deciding if you need a water heater replacement service:
The Age of Your Water Heater
Water heaters aren’t designed to last forever. To determine whether it’s time to replace your water heater, you need to find out its age. One way to determine the age of your water heater is to check the serial number on the sticker. Water heaters are intended to last homeowners between 8 and 12 years. It is important to remember that not all water heaters are designed for a 10-year life expectancy. Gas water heaters, for example, only last 6-8 years. If your water heater has been in use for more than 8 years, it is time to consider a water heater replacement service. In that time, it’s likely many plumbing and heating advancements have been made and your new unit will typically cost less to run and offer a whole host of additional benefits.
Rusty Water from the Water Heater
Steel is one of the most durable and strong materials on Earth, but it also has one weakness: rust. You should immediately take corrective action if rust appears in hot water coming from faucets. This rusty water may be contaminated through rust on the inside of your water heater. To determine if the corrosion is coming from the water heater, or the pipes, call a professional plumber. You should seek water heater replacement services in Bloomington, IL immediately if the rust is coming from inside the water heater.
Water Heater Leaks
Your water heater may start to leak as it nears the end of its useful life. It is easy to spot leaks as there will be water on the outside of the tank and the floor surrounding it. Most leaks are caused by the expansion of your heater over time. Corrosion can also cause leaks. Repairing water heater leaks, no matter what the reason, is expensive. Leaks can also cause serious structural damage to your home, as well as your water heater, depending on the heater’s location. If your water heater leaks, it is important to contact a professional plumber immediately.
Loud Water Heater Noises
Rumbling sounds are another sign your water heater is having a problem that requires either repair or replacement parts. Under normal conditions, your water heater should operate quietly. Rumbling sounds from your water heater are usually a sign of sediment build-up. Long-term avoidance of flushing your water heater can compound existing issues and result in premature water heater replacement. If the rumbling sounds continue to get louder and more frequent, despite maintenance, it’s possible your heater is suffering from more serious issues that cannot be repaired through simple maintenance tasks. It could crack and begin leaking. If your water heater is still making rumbling sounds despite being flushed on an annual basis, it may be time to consider replacing it with professional plumbing contractors from Covenant Plumbing.
Rising Heating Bills
Heating water in your home takes a lot of energy. You can reduce the energy used by your water heater by making sure it is well-maintained. Your water heater’s efficiency decreases with age. As a result, you’ll notice an increase in the cost of using your heater that can’t just be attributed to the energy provider’s pricing changes. If your energy bills are rising and your water heater has reached its end of life, you should consider water heater replacement.
Inability to Heat Water
Failed heating elements are a leading cause of little to no hot water and a signal that you need to book a water heater replacement service. Some water heaters have multiple heating elements, and replacing one or both can be a costly endeavor. You may prefer to opt for a full heater replacement.
Regular Calls to the Plumber
Your water heater, like any appliance in your home, can have electrical and mechanical problems from time to time. A reliable plumber can fix most problems your water heater may have. If you have been calling your plumber more often to fix your water heater in recent years, it could mean that your water heater is approaching its end-of-life expectancy. In this case, you should start to talk to your plumber about water heater replacement. Not only is it less cost-effective to keep repairing an old heater, but a new heater will also have numerous environmental advantages.
You can help make your next water heater last longer by taking care of it. When you get a water heater replacement, make sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines and operating instructions to ensure you’re following best-practice and getting the most out of your new investment. A few tips to help keep a water heater in top condition include:
- Keep your thermostat at 120F or below. If you heat your water heater too much, you’ll need replacement parts sooner. Lower operating temperatures can also lower your electricity bills as the unit will spend less energy and time getting to the desired temperature
- Ensure your water heater is in a warm location so it doesn’t need to work as hard to maintain its temperature
- Once a year, flush your water heater
- Once a year, check the temperature and pressure release valves both work as expected
- Once every three years, check the anode rod inside the tank for rust and other impurities. If the outer layer is corroded and the rod has reduced considerably in size, get the rod replaced.
For more information about water heater replacement or maintenance of existing units, call a plumbing contractor at Covenant Plumbing in Bloomington, IL.