Water heaters are one of the most essential plumbing fixtures in our homes, delivering piping hot water to our showers, baths, and faucets. So, when they fail, they can cause serious chaos in our daily lives! Here are signs to watch out for so that you can get your hot water heater repaired or replaced in time:
- Age: When it comes to hot water heaters, age isn’t just a number. Generally, they should be replaced after 10 years, as equipment older than that is more likely to fail or need significant repairs. Often, these heaters are also far less energy efficient, costing you a lot more than they should on your monthly energy bill. You can determine the age of your hot water heater by looking at the unit’s serial code. The letter represents the month of the year (A is January, B is February, etc.) and the next two numbers are the last two numbers are the year.
- Leaks: Check around your hot water heater for moisture or pools of water, as these indicate a leak. Many leaks can simply be repaired but older units are more vulnerable to fractures in the tank, as they have been worn out over the years by the expansion and contraction caused by the heating process.
- Running out of hot water: This can be the result of two issues:
i. Either that your tanked hot water heater isn’t big enough to provide enough hot water to meet the demands of your home, or
ii. Sediment has built up inside the tank, reducing its capacity.
A clean-out may be sufficient, but often this is a sign that your heater itself is deteriorating.
- Noises: As sediment builds up in your tank, it hardens and reduces the hot water capacity as well as compromising your heater’s efficiency. This hardened sediment can result in banging and rumbling noises from your heater itself as it tries to heat up.
- Discoloration: Rust-colored water from your hot-water taps (and not your cold-water taps) usually means that your water heater is rusting inside and may need replacing soon, before it starts to leak. If you have rust-colored water coming from your cold-water pipes as well, this may indicate that your pipes are rusting instead.
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