We all rely on our water heaters on a daily basis for hot showers and clean dishes. But even top-of-the-line water heaters don’t last forever. Homeowners can get ahead of the curve and avoid downtime by replacing units that are nearing the ends of their lives.
An Aging Water Heater
Most water heaters last about 10 years. As heaters age, a number of things can (and will) go wrong such as cracks in the tank, rust and corrosion inside and outside the tank, and damaged parts. If you don’t know the age of your heater, check the serial number label. The manufacturer includes the date which is often an alphanumeric code; you will need to refer to the manufacturer’s website for interpretation and to confirm the age.
Compromised Hot Water
More than likely, you will know your heater is failing when the water coming from your faucets is cooler than usual. This could be the result of a failed heating element or it could be that minerals have built up and coated the bottom of the tank and heating element. gone bad. A licensed plumber can diagnose and repair your problems.
To get the maximum life from your water heater, you should routinely check the anode rod and replace it when necessary. The purpose of this rod is to attract any corrosive elements suspended in your water. Over time, the rod will simply rust away – sacrificing itself for the sake of the water heater. But if you don’t replace this rod before it’s used up, those corrosive agents will begin attacking the entire unit.
Corrosion in your tank results in rusty water from your taps. To make sure that the problem is your heater and not your pipes, you should flush your water heater tank to see if the drained water appears to have rust. If you do detect rust, you should consider replacing the water heater now. If you wait, you may experience a more damaging leak.
Given time, water heaters will spring a leak. This may be due to rust, damage, or even flaws in manufacturing. Checking your water heater regularly is the most effective way to detect and repair any problems you have.
A water heater on its last leg may make a loud banging sound when it’s heating water. This noise is your tank rapidly expanding and is a result of sediment causing the tank to work harder. If you are hearing knocking…it’s time to get a new unit.
If you are concerned or are experiencing any of these problems, contact us for a thorough inspection or replacement.