When To Replace Water Heaters – An Economy Plumbing Guide

Water heaters are an absolute comfort in the home, giving us relaxing showers and baths, helping in cooking and cleaning – they just flat out make life easier. But what happens when that ease, when that comfort goes away? You ever jump in a shower just to have the heat disappear on you? It’s awful! Keeping an eye on your water heater’s ‘health’ as it were is critical to avoiding catastrophe down the line. This time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog we are answering the question, ‘How to know when to replace water heater?’

When To Replace Water Heater – 4 Signs

Age of Water Heater

The biggest determining factor of whether or not you need to replace your water heater is the age of the unit itself. Most water heaters are built to last about eight to ten years, some can reach up to 15 or 20 with proper maintenance. If everything works in perfect order they might even last longer. But nothing ever works perfectly. It’s very likely you’ll need to replace your water heater before then to avoid a total unit failure.

Bills Skyrocketing

Water heaters are made to work efficiently. They convert energy into heat to warm water, and so long as everything works as it should, that is an easily tracked cost. If it starts to rise you can be sure something isn’t working up to snuff. 

It could also be your repair bills that are running higher than normal. If you are having to call out an expert (*ahem* like Economy Plumbing Services) twice a year or more, it might be worth the investment to replace the unit entirely.

Low Volume

Ever take a nice warm shower only to have the heat die out on you three minutes in? You’re not crazy! Water heaters work by heating up a set volume of water to be on hand and ready for use. As they wear out, they fill with sediment, which lowers the amount of open space for water. If cold showers are becoming an all too common occurrence, well you’ll know when to replace water heater.

Rusty Water

Red coloration in your water is a sign that the pipes the water travels through is rusted up. If the red water only comes out of the hot water tap, well then you know where it’s coming from! It means the water heater itself is rusting out and it’s probably time to get a new heater in.

Can My Water Heater Keep Going?

Not all problems need immediate replacement, though they need to be looked at! Here are some of the less dire water heater problems that your unit can likely survive (with proper attention of course!)

Leaky Water Heater

Leaky water heaters are a dime a dozen I tell ya. There are a few likely spots where that water leakage can occur: the water supply pipes or the pressure-relief valve. If it’s either of these parts, you are in luck! Replace the pressure-relief valve or tighten (or replace) the water supply fittings as needed.

plumber repairing leaking water heater

Strange Noises

Strange noises and water heaters go together like peanut butter and jelly it seems. These noises are usually caused by sediment gather in the water heater tank. To handle this you’ll want to drain the tank until the water and sediment clears out. Clean the elements inside, following all safety instructions first of course, and scrub the collected scale and the noises should slow down.

Whether you need to replace the whole unit or just make some minor repairs, we hope this blog has helped you get your water heater woes settled. If you need help or want to see what a new unit could cost, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We are happy to help you in any way you need.