A water heater is a big investment, with the cost of installing a typical tank water heater running between $820 and $1,290. A tankless water heating system can set you back between $1,200 and $3,500.
When you spend that much money on an appliance, you wish it would last forever. But, like all other systems in your home, your water heater has a defined lifespan. Sure, you can get your water heater to last longer by making its care part of your overall home maintenance routine, but a time will come when you need to replace it.
So, how do you know that your trusty water heater is about to fail? Here are 7 warning signs to look out for.
1. Your Water Heater Is Old
One of the surest ways to tell that your water heater is living on borrowed time is if it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. Most water heater installation companies apply a label that tells you when the system was installed. The unit’s serial number can also tell you when the water heater was manufactured.
On average, water heaters last 8 to 10 years. If your water heater has been around for that long, one of the home issues you can expect soon is for the appliance to go out. It’s time to start budgeting for a new, more efficient water heater.
2. There Are Leaks From the Tank
Leaks are among the most annoying and destructive home problems you can face. If the leaks are coming from your water heating system’s tank, then you have more to worry about than just patching up the leak. Your water heater may be due for a replacement.
Of course, you want first to inspect the system to ascertain where the problem is. It could be that some connections are loose and need tightening or that the valves aren’t fully closed. But if the leak is clearly coming from the water tank, the system is on the verge of collapse, and you need to start shopping for a new water heater.
3. You Keep Running Out of Hot Water Fast
Another sign that your hot water has issues is if hot water runs out quicker than before. Usually, this problem is caused by the accumulation of sediments in the tank. The reason for this accumulation could be that you haven’t flushed the water heater in a while.
Get the issue fixed quickly to avoid bigger problems. Ignoring the situation could cause clogging and corrosion in the system’s valves. These bigger problems may end up requiring you to replace your water heater altogether.
A more permanent solution is to opt for a tankless water heater.
4. The Water Heater Makes Strange Noises
Many failing appliances tend to make unusual sounds. If you hear loud knocking, popping, or banging sounds, it’s a clear sign that your water heater is in trouble.
These sounds could indicate that there’s a layer of sediments or mineral sediments clogging the system. They could also be caused by a water element that’s breaking. Loose connections and valves could also be the culprits.
Regardless of what’s causing the noise, you need to find an expert on water heater repair near me to check it. Depending on where the issue is and how big it is, the professional may recommend water heater repair or replacement.
5. The Water Temperature Is Inconsistent
You may notice that the temperature of the water coming from the shower never stays consistent. This issue may be caused by a variety of issues, including a malfunctioning thermostat. If that happens to be the main cause of the problem, then replacing the thermostat is all it takes to get your water heater functioning properly once again.
The issue could also be something major, like broken heating elements. In this case, you may want to consider replacing the water heater altogether, especially if the water heater is clearly old.
6. Water Pressure Is Low
A reduction in water pressure could also be a sign that your water heater is in trouble. This issue is usually caused by significant buildup in the water heater tank and connections.
Getting your water heater serviced may be all you need to get the water pressure back to normal. If you fix the problem early enough, you may even extend the life of your water heater.
7. You Notice Discolored Water Flowing From the Faucets
Having clear water flowing from all taps is a good sign that you’re on top of your home care routine. But once you start to notice rusty or murky water, something needs to be done quickly. If this water flows when you turn on the hot water taps, then it could be a sign that your water heater is failing.
The typical water heater comes with a coating that helps slow down corrosion. Over time, this coating wears thin, allowing rust to form quickly.
As you can imagine, discolored water is not only unsightly but also tastes funny. An experienced water heater technician should be able to recommend the best solution for this problem.
Include Water Heater Inspection in Your Home Maintenance Checklist
No matter how hardy your water heater is, it’s bound to fail at some point. The good news is that a water heater rarely stops working without first giving you clear warning signs. Learning how to recognize these signs and take appropriate action is an essential part of good home maintenance.
Would you like to read more great content like this? Keep visiting our blog.