How to Tell If Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced

When a water heater fails, it takes most people by surprise. It leads to potential water damage, which can be frustrating and expensive. Knowing the warning signs of a water heater failure can help avoid the situation. Fixing a potential problem before it gets out of hand will help in the long run. Below are some things to watch out for:

The Age Of Your Water Heater
Most people don’t think about the age of their water heater. You can find out how long it has been around by looking at the serial number which has a date code on it. You can convert the code using this guide. Water heaters typically last around 10 years, more if you have scheduled maintenance.

Sediment builds up in your water heater’s tank as it ages. As the sediment heats up and cools it will harden. The evidence of the sediment can be heard when there is rumbling or banging sounds coming from your water heater during the heating process. Sediment build-up in your water heater means less efficiency and more damage. It is a sign that the life of your water heater is coming to an end.

Water On The Floor
Water on the floor around your heater could mean a leak in the tank. As metal heats, it expands and can cause small fractures in the heater. As the water cools, the metal contracts, closing the fractures. But before you replace your water heater check all other fittings and connections to the tank. If all the fittings and connections are dry, then your water heater may need to be replaced.

Rusty Water
If you see rusty water coming from the hot water tap, then it may be a sign that your water heater is rusting on the inside. It is only a matter of time before it starts leaking. However, if you have galvanized piping, that could also be the source of the rust. A good test to tell if the rust is coming from your water heater and not your pipes is to remove your water heater and replace with one you know works. Drain 10 to 15 gallons of water out of the heater. By the time 15 gallons is removed, you might start to see rusty water. That means rust is coming from the water heater and not the pipes. You know it is time to start thinking about a new heater.

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