Most homeowners never think about the appliance that heats their home’s water until they are standing in a cold shower gritting their teeth. And at that moment, you promise yourself never to ignore this important appliance again. But It might already be too late to avoid the cost and inconvenience of replacing your current unit. Had you understood the hints that your water heater was giving you, you certainly could have avoided the cold shower. And you might also have been able to avoid the cost of a replacement unit.
Time Plays a Big Role
There are two time frames that you need to commit to memory when you own a traditional water heater. The first is that even with the best care and professional service, these water heaters will only last between 10 and 15 years. So if your home’s water heater is in that window, know that it is reaching the end of its reliability.
The second part of the time factor relates to service. Every water heater should be drained and flushed once a year. This is the only way to remove sediment and mineral build-up that will inhibit the heating element and begin to corrode the inside of the tank. If you have not been providing this service each year, know that you will be fortunate to get an entire decade of service from your tank-style water heater.
Your hot water could also be a clue dropped by your water heater. If the water is not as hot as it once was, the issue could be an old heating element that needs to be replaced. Or the problem could be as simple as too much sediment buildup inside the tank keeping the heating element insulated from the water. If the hot water looks brown or has particulates in it, there could be a rust problem in the tank. In most cases, this is the beginning of the end for your water heater. But on rare occasions, a professional tank cleaning can remove the particulates. Finally, if your water has an odd odor, there is a good chance that bacteria have contaminated your tank. This can happen when the temperature is set below 135 degrees. Turn the thermostat up to between 135 and 140 degrees to kill any bacteria. If the issue persists, call in your local plumber for a professional tank cleaning.
Visual Signs Of Old Age
The appearance of your water heater could also be hinting that its days are numbered. The most obvious sign of impending doom is rust on the holding tank. You could also notice a slight imperfection in the exterior finish that looks almost like a bubble or flaw, but water is oozing from it. This indicated that the tank has corroded from the inside, and the integrity is now compromised. Once the tank itself is leaking, there is no safe way to repair it.
If you have no hot water in your home, you will likely think any water heater is a great deal. But when you are not rushed to replace your water heater immediately, you can do some comparison shopping and get a great deal. And then there is also the cost savings of avoiding water damage and costly repairs when your water heater fails and dumps 40 or 50 gallons of water on your floor.
For a free price quote for a new water heater or annual service for your existing water heater, call (818) 918-6297. The team at Turbo Plumbing & Rooter will make sure you never endure a cold shower again.