Water heaters are an appliance we often don’t think about until something goes wrong. In reality, these are appliances with a limited lifespan. At some point, old water heaters need to be replaced. Keeping a water heater running past its prime reduces energy efficiency and poses a threat of potentially expensive or dangerous problems.
When determining if it is time for a replacement, it’s important to consider the age of your water heater, efficiency and safety considerations, signs of any problems, potential cost of repairs, benefits of energy savings from a new model, and the actual cost of replacement.
Here are some questions that will help you determine if it’s time for a new water heater:
1. How old is your water heater? How long is it expected to last? When water heaters start to fail, they often go quickly. So if you’re nearing the end of your water heater’s expected lifespan, investing in a new model can prevent upcoming repairs.
2. Are you finding water leaks around your water heater? Unless you have determined that the leak is not from the tank itself, leaks can be a sign of irreversible wear on the unit. A water heater repair professional can help you determine the cause of the leak, so you can make the best decision.
3. Are you having to repair your water heater often? Do you see costs adding up? It might be more economical to avoid further repairs by buying a new water heater.
4. Is your hot water rusty or smelling bad? A water heater repair professional can help you determine the source of this problem. While some bad smells or discoloration in your water can have other causes, and can be treated, you need to determine if the cause is corrosion inside your water heater. Corrosion can’t be reversed and can lead to leaks. It might be time for a new unit.
5. Has your water heater become noisy? As sediment builds up, it can cause your water heater to make noise. The degree of sediment can be affected by the environment and the mineral content of your water. This buildup reduces the efficiency of your water heater. Minerals also make corrosion worse. With a newer water heater, an annual flush can remove the sediment. If you have an older water heater and a flush doesn’t seem to help anymore, it might be time for a new one.
6. Have you noticed your water heater doesn’t work as well as it used to? As water heaters wear out, they lose energy efficiency. They can also start to encounter bigger problems that might be costly to repair. A water heater repair professional can help you determine if you would be better off with a new water heater.
If you have taken good care of your water heater, and you’ve gotten good years out of it, it might be time to buy a new one. You will be pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of the newer models. With proper installation and annual care, your new water heater will provide many more years of home service.