Your hot water heater is the MVP of your home’s plumbing system. Think about it: this trusty appliance works hard day in and day out to provide you and your family with all of the hot water you use everyday.
From your balmy shower every morning to running a load of dishes in the evening—your life would grind to a halt without your hot water heater. That’s a Cal Ripken caliber performance as far as we’re concerned.
Unfortunately, even the legends have to retire someday. While hot water heater maintenance can extend the life of your heater, it can’t last forever. The unexpected death of your hot water heater interrupts your daily routine—and can cause water damage if the tank itself leaks. Because of that, many homeowners choose to replace their water heater before the inevitable happens.
Here are 7 signs it may be time for your water heater to hang up the cleats for good. When the time comes give us a call, and we’ll discuss and install your next iron man.
The 7 signs
1. Loud, banging noises coming from your water heater
Sediment build up in your hot water heater causes these noises when the system works strenuously.
Hot water heaters in homes with hard water will be particular susceptible to sediment build up.
2. Less hot water
Before everyone in your family could take a hot shower in the morning. Now at least one or two people will get stuck with the short end of the stick—and a chilly shower.
This sign results from the parts degrading or sediment calcifying in the tank. The minerals take up valuable real estate, limiting the space for hot water. This is a strong indication that your water heater is about to stop working all together.
3. Cooler hot water
Your hot water used to be hot…almost to the point where it was scalding. Now, you describe it as lukewarm. This comes from the crucial internal components degrading over time. We can outfit you with a brand new water heater—just be careful of that scalding water.
4. You see rust in your water or on your clean dishes
You’ll get a stomach turning feeling if you find yourself bathing in rust—or picking it off your diner plates.
This issue arises when your water heater’s internal components are so rusted, the rusty particles end up absolutely everywhere. This gross experience alone is enough to make you want to have us install a new one — never mind the fact that it’s likely to go down permanently.
5. Different taste/smell in your water
Generally, you don’t quench your thirst by hopping in the shower. Nonetheless, we have a good idea as to the taste and smell of our water. When that taste changes, you need to consider that a sign that you need a water heater.
A metallic or mineral smelling taste indicates massive sediment infiltration of your hot water heater. Unless you have a water treatment solution, you probably already drink hard water. This is really, really hard water.
6. Small puddles underneath your water heater
If you have a small amount of water leaking from your water heater, that is a sign you need to replace it. A small leak is your warning to the possibility of a costly indoor flood.
If you notice this particular sign, bring out a Benjamin Franklin Plumber for a visit ASAP.
7. Your hot water heater is more than 10 years old
The average lifespan of a hot water heater is between 5 and 10 years. Generally, a 10 year warranty is the longest warranty you can buy for a hot water heater. Safe to say, age is NOT just a number when it comes to your standard hot water heater.
Bottom line: If your hot water heater is closing in on its 10 year anniversary in your home and it’s experiencing one of these other issues, its time to retire the old fella.
Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater
When you replace your traditional water heater, you have the option to upgrade to a hall-of-fame model, a tankless water heater.
These advanced water heaters apply gas or electric heat directly to your water line, eliminating the need for a metal tank. The big-game benefit of a tankless model is that you NEVER run out of hot water when taking a shower.
Advantages of a tankless water heater include:
• Endless hot water
• Energy bill savings
• Longer lifespan
• No risk of water leak
Importance of a Sediment Flush
Notice how many water heater breakdown signs involve sediment—that isn’t a coincidence.
Hard minerals have the ability to damage all major water-dependent appliances, and your hot water heater is no exception.
You can fight back with yearly professional water heater flushes, as part of a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing protection plan. By keeping your water heater free of sediment and under a professionals care, you get the most out of it.
Signs You Need a New Hot Water Heater: Wrap-Up
Now you know what you’re looking, listening, and tasting for. If something is out of the ordinary with your hot water, pay attention. Your trusting appliance may be giving you one of the 7 signs you need a new hot water heater.
Your hot water heater dying unexpectedly WILL derail your life for a few days and MAY cause substantial water damage in the process.
When you want to maintain, repair, or upgrade your hot water heater, we’re your 24/7 water heater expert.
Contact us for water heater service and all of your plumbing needs.