As long as you have hot water, you probably never think about your water heater. If it’s been working well, you may not have thought much about it in years. But how old is it getting now?
A water heater should last ten to fifteen years, and as it ages, it’s more likely to cause you problems. Here’s how to tell when it’s time for a new one.
When Repairs are Required
If your water heater is not yet reaching the end of its expected lifespan, it might be worth investing in repairs when problems crop up. If your hot water is running out sooner than it used to, there might be a buildup of sediment or mineral scaling that’s limiting the amount of water the tank can hold.
This can be flushed out by a plumber. If you hear odd noises, you should always call for an expert to check them out. Rumbly, bubbly noises are often caused by an issue with temperature and pressure, and a plumber can make adjustments and get things back to normal. Even a leak or corrosion on an exterior component might be totally repairable.
When Replacement Might Be a Better Option
It’s not worth investing a lot of money in repairs when your water heater is well over a decade old. A small repair might be a reasonable choice to make, but if you’d be spending a lot, it could be the more sensible option to put that money toward an upgrade.
A qualified, professional plumber can give you an honest assessment of the general wellbeing of your water heater and help you weigh the pros and cons of repair versus replacement. Certain problems could tip the scale toward buying a new water heater.
- 1: Rust-Colored or Dark-Colored Water: Water heaters contain a component called an anode rod, and it does a very important job. It makes the environment inside the tank hostile to bacteria and corrosion. Dark, dirty, or smelly water is likely caused by bacteria, whereas reddish water is caused by corrosion. When your water heater is already aging, it’s probably not worth replacing the anode rod and cleaning out a bacteria-infested tank. And once corrosion affects the inside of the water heater, it’s definitely time to replace it.
- 2: No Hot Water: In a newer water heater, it’s definitely worth investigating the problem, which could be electrical in nature or caused by a faulty component. In an old water heater, your plumber is likely to recommend replacement.
- 3: Increasing Energy Bills: This can be caused by a leak. As the water heater works harder and harder to keep the tank full and hot despite losing water, it will use more energy. However, if you don’t see any signs of leaking, such as puddles under the water heater, it might just be due to age. An old water heater gradually decreases in efficiency at the end of its life. Rather than continuing to pay more and more for your hot water, you might want to look into your replacement options.
If you’d like to get an expert opinion on the condition of your water heater, or learn more about the signs that it’s time to upgrade water heaters in Pensacola, FL, our team is ready to assist you.
Contact the team at Commander Air Inc. Your hometown heating and cooling specialist for three generations.