Signs You Need a New Water Heater
As a general rule, a tank style water heater will last, on average, 8 to 12 years. If your water heater is pushing the 10-year mark, there's a good chance it's time to replace the unit.
A water heater is essential for everyday tasks in your Portland Oregon home, like taking a shower and washing dishes. If your warranty is expired, buying a more efficient model will help you save both water and energy. It also keeps you from having to pay for an expensive breakdown in the future. Some signs you need a new water heater are an old unit, rusty water, not enough hot water, noise, or leaks.
An Old Unit
If your water heater is older, you can find its exact age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near its top. The first two numbers usually represent the year, but these stickers can vary. You should check your manufacturer’s website for more information and have your water heater replaced if you find out that it’s more than 10 years old.
Flush your water heater every year so that it lasts as long as possible. Remember that the water is hot, and you’ll need to be careful to avoid getting burned. If your unit is in a place where it will cause damage if it leaks, replace it immediately instead of risking mold, mildew, or water damage.
If your hot water is rusty, your water heater could be rusting on the inside, and it might start leaking soon. To see if your hot water is rusty, fill three or four five-gallon buckets or other containers. If rust comes from hot water only, you probably need a new water heater.
You can prevent rust by adding a magnesium, aluminum, or zinc anode rod to your water heater. For more protection, use a large anode rod or two regular-sized rods. If you use two, make sure both rods are made of the same metal so that they won’t react chemically with each other and cause more wear. To examine the inside, attach a hose to your water heater’s drainage bib, turn it off, and drain it. If the water looks dirty, muddy, or has a metallic taste, you should get a new water heater as soon as possible.
Natural gas water heaters are more efficient than electric models, and prices do not fluctuate. Prices often rise when demand is high, so electricity isn’t as economical as gas. Natural gas can also heat water faster than electricity, so keep that all in mind when shopping around.
Not Enough Hot Water
If your shower keeps turning cold before you get done, you should get a new water heater. The most common sign that your water heater will fail is a lack of hot water. Sediment often builds up over time in hot water heaters, which separates water from heat sources and takes up space.
Rumbling and Noise
As water heaters get older, sediment builds up on the bottom of the tanks. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually hardens, wasting energy and using a lot of your water heater’s capacity. You could notice banging or rumbling noises from your unit. You’ll also run out of hot water sooner. The extra time required to heat water leads to cracks or holes in your water heater, so you should look for leaks if you hear banging or rumbling.
As metal heats, it expands, and if there are slight fractures, water may leak from your tank. A leak could damage your basement or utility closet, but your water heater’s inner tank will stop leaking when its metal cools down. Before you replace your water heater, make sure there are no other leaks coming from the fittings or connections to the tank. You should also check your heater’s temperature and pressure overflow pipe for leaks. If you find a leak, have your tank replaced right away by an experienced professional.