Of all the major appliances in your home, the water heater is the easiest to forget about. However, since you rely on this equipment for everything from hot showers to clean dishes, it’s vital that you pay attention to the signs of a declining water heater so you can replace it before it breaks down completely. Here’s how you know it’s time for a new water heater.
Water heaters usually last 10 to 15 years (provided they receive adequate maintenance). Once yours reaches this age, start considering a replacement.
To find out when your water heater was manufactured, check the serial number on the sticker located somewhere on the upper half of the appliance. The first two numerical digits of the serial number indicate the year of manufacture, making it easy to keep track of when the water heater reaches the 10-year milestone.
Rusty, Metallic-Tasting Water
Pay attention to the water flowing from the tap. It should always be crystal clear. If the water appears muddy or tastes like metal, this indicates increased sediment in the water heater tank.
Try flushing the tank by emptying water from the drain valve into a bucket until the water runs clear. (Caution: the water will be very hot.) If the water remains muddy, this means the water heater is close to breaking down, and you should replace it.
Every water heater makes sounds when it operates, but if you hear anything unusual, it could mean trouble. Rumbling, cracking or popping noises indicate sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank, which hardens over time as the elements heat and reheat it. Eventually, this accumulation forces the heating elements to work harder, putting more strain on the metal tank until it becomes brittle and starts to leak. Once this happens, it’s time for a replacement.
No Hot Water
This is a common symptom of water heater failure, but don’t jump to conclusions just yet. Before you call a repair technician, check if the pilot light has gone out or the circuit breaker has tripped. These troubleshooting tips can save you an unnecessary repair bill.
If you check for power issues and find nothing wrong, then it’s time to pick up the phone. If the plumber can repair your water heater, great! You can go back to using like normal. However, if the appliance has failed, you’ll need to purchase a new one.
Water Around the Tank
Examine the floor around your water heater regularly. If you notice a puddle, try to determine its origin. If it’s a pipe fitting or connection, this is an easy fix. However, if it’s the tank or the temperature-pressure overflow pipe, it may be time to replace the water heater.
Puget Sound Plumbing & Heating offers water heater services in the Seattle area. Whether you want help making your water heater last longer, or it’s time to replace it, we can help. Call us today at (206) 350-0079 to schedule the services you need.