It's important to recognize the clues indicating you may need to replace water heater parts, or the water heater itself. Knowing the signs of an impending break can prevent sudden, unexpected outages when you need hot water the most. If you've experienced any of these signals, consider contacting an experienced plumbing professional, such as Bill Fenwick Plumbing!
1. Your hot water heater is more than eight years old.
A water heater is an appliance you install and largely forget but for the occasional, routine maintenance. Yet even the best cared-for water heaters can only function for so long before they wear out. For gas water heaters, the average period of time before a replacement is needed is six to eight years. Electric water heaters last a bit longer, but tend to run down after eight to ten years.
Diligent maintenance can nearly double this estimated time, but no amount of maintenance can counteract the eventual effects of age. After the eight-year mark, consider an evaluation to see if you will need to replace water heater parts, or the whole heater, in the near future.
2. Your water isn't as hot as it should be.
Hot showers are one of life's greatest pleasures. When these turn into lukewarm or cool showers instead, or clothing does not come out as clean as it should because the water temperature is inadequate, your water heater may be sending you a message.
If your household usage of hot water has not increased, you may need to replace water heater parts such as the heating element, the thermostat, or other vital pieces of equipment. A plumbing professional can assist you with a diagnosis of the trouble and repairs.
3. You find corrosion or rust in your water or around your water heater.
For the most part, manufacturers make water tanks out of steel. This material will eventually succumb to rust and oxidation. You may see signs of this around the pressure relief valve, the temperature valve, or the water inlet. In the worst cases, you may find rust in your water.
Rust can eventually lead to leakage. This has the potential to cause expensive damage to your home, depending on the location of your water heater. Attending to signs of rust promptly will minimize this possibility.
4. You find a leak in your water tank.
A leak in your water tank also has the potential to create thousands of dollars of damage to your home and possessions, depending on where your water heater is located in your home. While you can attempt to locate the source of the leak, it is unlikely you can have it repaired. In most cases, leakage in a water tank requires a full replacement.
Should you notice a leak, turn off water and power to the water heater. This will give you time to arrange a replacement.
5. Your water will not drain through the drain valve.
Sediment builds up in all water heaters. Those with gas water heaters may hear a popping sound as the burner ignites. This sediment can break down the tank's interior and clog the drain valve. This is why it is recommended you should flush the water heater once a year.
Should sediment have clogged the drain valve too far, it may require you to replace water heater parts, or the tank itself.
Bill Fenwick Plumbing has the skill and knowledge to replace water heaters or solve other plumbing problems that may crop up in your home. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!