Signs You Need to Replace Your Water Heater

After another season of working hard to keep our showers and baths hot, our water heaters may need a little TLC. Whether it’s leaks, noises or discolored water, here are some signs that you may need to repair or replace your water heater.

Water Heater Expiration Dates

Most water heaters last an average of 8-10 years but tankless heaters can last up to 20 years before replacement is needed. Even if there are no signs of wear or damage, you should replace the unit once a decade has passed the manufacture date which you can find on the manufacture label. The label is usually located on the side of the water heater and includes the installation date.

Strange Noises Coming From the Tank

You may notice rumbling, clanging or gurgling coming from your water heater. This might be an indication of sediment buildup. As a heater ages, sediment will begin to harden and move around the tank, creating the commotion heard. Too much sediment buildup can wear down metal encasement, cause strain on the unit and lead to leaks. It is important to have your heater flushed annually to avoid these buildups. If your heater continues making noises while beginning to show signs of failure, scheduling a check-up with a technician will confirm a diagnosis if replacement is needed.

Water Puddles and Wet Spots

Built-up water pressure and over-usage can cause leakage. This can happen when water pressure or temperature gets too high or because of a defective release valve. Puddles or moisture around the water heater’s base indicate leaks. Left unattended, the rising pressure could lead to an explosion, so any apparent leaks warrant an immediate inspection or replacement.

Tinted Red or Brown Water

Discolored water is a common sign of a failing water heater. In some cases, the rust could also come from pipes instead of the water tank. Rust occurs when steel begins to age and is a sign of corrosion. To test where the rust is coming from, it is good practice to fill three buckets worth of hot water. If it clears out by the third bucket, your pipes could be rusting. But if the water comes out rusty after the third bucket, the problem could be in the water heater, in which case, a new one is in order.

Other Reasons for Replacement

We often take the hot water we use for washing dishes and taking showers for granted. However, when it’s gone it becomes an extreme discomfort. If your water is coming out cold or it turns cold easily, the reason could be linked to the heating element of the tank rather than the water heater itself. Make sure your thermostat is set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Other common symptoms of a failing water heater are higher heating bills and a growing number of repairs per year. Seeing an increase in energy usage and repairs per year can be a sign of needing a replacement.

Call Quarter Moon Plumbing, Heating and AC for Your Water Heater Needs

Here at Quarter Moon, we prioritize family comfort and affordability. If you think you may need to replace your water heater, don’t hesitate to call Quarter Moon’s 24/7 service line at (210) 651-5899.