If you are like most homeowners, your water heater plays a very important role in you and your family’s daily lives, providing you with a great deal of the comfort and convenience that you have come to enjoy. As such an important aspect of your home, it goes without saying that you want to do everything in your power to keep your water heater functioning properly and in good condition, but like most other mechanical devices, the lifespan of your water heater is finite, and eventually, you are going to find yourself in need of a replacement. With that said, how are you to know when it’s the right time to replace your old water heater? To help answer that question, our team of skilled Columbia plumbers have taken the time to put together this short list that contains a few of the most common signs you can be on the lookout for that indicate it’s time to get rid of that old tank and invest in a replacement water heater for your home.
Your Unit Is Old
While most people have a different opinion on what actually constitutes “old”, when it comes to your water heater, older tanks are generally those that have reached 10 years in age, or older. To find the age of your water heater, you will want to take a look at your unit’s serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the tank. The first two numbers usually indicate the year that your unit was manufactured, but some of these stickers can vary, so it’s best to check on the manufacturer’s website. If you determine that your water heater is older than 10 years, even if it is still performing correctly for the time being, it is probably in your best interest to start considering replacement options as opposed to waiting for your system to fail entirely.
If you notice that your water starts to take on a bit of a rusty hue whenever you turn on the hot water, it could be an indication that your tank is starting to rust from the inside, at which point you are likely going to want to start looking at replacement options. When your water heater rusts from the inside, it makes it that much more likely for your tank to spring a leak, flooding the area around it with water and putting your home at serious risk of damage. To determine whether or not the rusty water is coming from your water heater, and not just from your plumbing pipes themselves, a proven method is to fill up several buckets alternating between hot and cold water. If you notice the rusty color only in the buckets with hot water, then you can fairly accurately surmise that the rust is coming from your water heater, and not from your plumbing itself.
Rumbling & Other Strange Noises
As your water heater starts to age, sediment will start to collect along the bottom of your tank, and as this sediment continues to be heated and reheated over time, it will eventually harden, causing you to waste energy and reducing the overall capacity of your tank itself. As sediment builds up along the bottom of your tank, you can usually tell because your tank will likely start to produce rumbling or banging noises as the sediment itself comes in contact with your tank’s heating element. Sediment can be dangerous to your water heater, as it will not only cause you to run out of hot water sooner than you would otherwise, but because of the extra time it will take to heat your water with sediment present, your tank can start to develop leaks, cracks, or holes, all of which can be very