An unexpected splash of icy water is sure to wake you up; however, it's not the best way to start the day. On average, a water heater lasts eight to 15 years. After about a decade, a unit's operating efficiency is dramatically reduced, making it more likely to fail. Here, you'll learn to recognize the signs of water heater trouble, and you'll find out when it's time to call Evergreen Plumbing & Mechanical.
Knowing the water heater's age may help you decide whether to repair or replace it. To find out how old it is, look for the serial number on a sticker toward the top of the tank. The second two numbers indicate the year of manufacture. If the unit is more than ten years old, it's wise to consider replacing it.
Over the years, sediment will build up in the water heater's tank. As its temperature fluctuates, it hardens, making the unit noisier and less efficient. The longer the sediment stays in the tank, the more wear it will cause, as particles make the metal brittle. If the tank is making rumbling noises, inspect it for leaks.
If the hot water has a rusty tinge to it, there may be corrosion inside the tank, or it may be due to the home's galvanized pipes. To determine where the problem lies, drain a few gallons of water into a bucket. If the water still looks rusty after the second or third container, it's time to replace the appliance.
Water Around the Tank
As the innermost tank heats, it expands; as it cools, it contracts. Over the years, these cycles may cause tiny fractures. If there's water on the floor, ensure that it's not coming from the fittings, connections, or pressure overflow valve. When these components are dry, it's a sign that it's time to call Evergreen Plumbing & Mechanical for a new water heater.
Older units aren't as efficient in heating the water and keeping it at a consistent temperature. If the water is cooler than normal and the unit is over eight years old, it's likely at the end of its useful life.
New Unit Considerations
- Storage type: Most residential units use insulated tanks that hold water until it's needed. Tanks are classified by capacity and recovery rate, which is an indication of how much water it can heat in one hour. Tankless heaters are another popular option. Rather than using a tank, these units heat water by passing it over several coils. These units are good for small households that don't use much hot water.
Fuel source: Water heaters use heat pumps, gas, or electricity as a power source. Electric units come in numerous sizes, and they offer a cost-effective solution. Gas heaters can hold up to 100 gallons of water, but they need air circulation. Hybrid or heat pump models use the air's energy to heat water. While the installation cost of such a unit is higher, it pays for itself in terms of greater energy efficiency.
Space: The largest water heaters have storage tanks that are 50-76" tall, which makes them perfect for garages and basements. If space is a concern, some models hold up to 50 gallons in shorter, wider tanks.
Call Today for Scheduled Maintenance and Necessary Repairs
While all water heaters eventually need to be replaced, maintenance practices, including regular tank flushes, will extend a unit's lifespan. If your home's water heater is showing its age, Evergreen Plumbing & Mechanical offers a range of tankless and traditional models to meet any family's requirements without sacrificing efficiency. Visit the website for more details or call today to schedule a consultation.