When Do You Need to Replace Your Water Heater?
Updated: a day ago
Hot water is necessary to clean our hands, to clean our clothes, to shower, to prepare meals, and to wash our dishes. Given this, a well-functioning and efficient water heater is an essential part of living.
Depending on your family size, your hot water heater may run for several minutes per hour, which can add up to significant demand on your water heater.
If you notice your water heater is noisy, it leaks, the water is rusty, or that water is not hot enough, then your water heater may be breaking down due to age or normal wear and tear.
Preventative maintenance can prolong the life of your water tank, but in due course, your heater will need to be replaced.
Here are some signs to look for so you know when to replace your water heater.
Your Water Heater is More than 10 Years Old
If your water heater is more than ten years old, it is time to have it replaced. Even if your water heater seems to work adequately, it is probably not as efficient as a new one would be.
And when a water heater gets to be 10 years old, it could break at any time.
If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, you can easily check its age through the serial number on the unit.
It can be difficult to tell the age if you can’t identify the age on the sticker, so a check-up by an HVAC professional can confirm the age.
If you choose to replace your water heater prior to a breakdown, you will avoid water damage from leaks and the possibility of mildew and mold. If you can’t replace the water heater yet, you can try flushing it annually to prolong its life.
No Hot Water
We mostly take warm water for granted until our water heater does not perform to its optimal level and provides us with the desired temperature.
We only notice this when the hot water drops off, and we then can’t perform the most essential of household chores and activities, like showers, laundry, dishes, and washing hands.
A loss of heat in your water is usually a result of one of three problems with your water heater: a heating element is broken, the tank is the wrong size for your home, or the thermostat is misadjusted.
You may not need a full water heater replacement for a broken heating element or misadjusted thermostat, but if your water heater tank is too small for your house, it will need to be replaced with an appropriately sized model.
If you find that your faucets and taps only stream cold water, you may have a broken heating element. Your HVAC professional should be able to determine the cause of the problem, and you more than likely will need to repair the issue to have hot water once again.
If the issue is due to the age of the water heater, then you will likely need a replacement water heater.
A water heater thermostat should be set between 120 and 140 degrees in order to sufficiently heat the water in your home. If your water is not to your desired temperature despite the indication it should be, you may need to adjust or replace your thermostat.
It is almost certain that an undersized water heater will need to be replaced. The size of the heater needed does not necessarily correlate with the square footage of the home, but rather the number of people in the household (i.e., how frequently hot water is needed daily).
If some of your household members have complained of cold showers, or you have run out of hot water when everyone has bathed, you almost certainly need a new water heater.
Heating Bill Increased
Your household energy consumption mostly consists of hot water usage in your home.
If your energy bill has begun to increase without apparent reason, and your hot water heater is aged, there is a good chance that the two are connected.
Once a water heater starts to work inefficiently and affects your energy consumption (and therefore, your budget) it is time to call an HVAC technician to replace your water heater.
The Water Heater is Noisy
An obvious sign that your water heater has begun to malfunction is noise from the tank.
If your water heater is in a space that is hidden away, you may even start to hear the noise on your floor or walls.
With age, the water heater has to work harder to heat the water to a proper temperature, and because of this, it will begin to make loud noises while it heats the water.
One cause of the noise may be built-up sediment.
Sediment can block the passages in a water heater, forcing the unit to strain to heat water. In this case, you will need to flush your water heater to remove the sediment.
Sediment can also cause cracks in the tank, makes the heater take longer to heat the water, and causes the metal on the tank to become brittle.
Once sediment forms in your water heater, the likelihood of a leak is increased and that can be disastrous. Call your HVAC professional to assess the water heater.
Probably the most tell-tale sign of a water heater that is past its prime is a water heater that needs a high number of repairs each year.
As a rule, your water heater should not need to be repaired more than once a year!
You may end up sinking money into a water heater that should be replaced, which means that you are wasting money and delaying the inevitable.
You may also end up paying more in utility bills just to achieve a comfortable temperature for bathing and other activities.
Consider the cost differences between repairing and replacing a water heater before you invest too heavily into regular repairs.
Nick’s Air Conditioning & Heating
Water is one of the most important and most used utilities in your home. Most household activities require the water to be heated in one way or another.
Therefore, when your water heater does not work properly, the loss is immediately experienced and should be rectified as soon as possible.
Residents of Orlando know to call Nick’s Air Conditioning & Heating for help with their heating and cooling needs.
Our service crews are ready and available to repair or replace your water heater with the perfect model for the needs of your household.
If you want to schedule an appointment for a water heater replacement, or simply want the opinion of a professional in the industry with over thirty years of experience, give us a call or fill out our contact form online.