When Should Homeowners “Break Up” With Their Water Heaters?

Three Signs That It’s Time to Get a New Water

A lot can happen in ten years, including water heaters that once worked perfectly needing replacement. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most standard water heaters can last 10-15 years before they need replacing, while tankless water heaters can last 20 years.

However, homeowners should be aware of common signs to replace the water heater, so they don’t get stuck with a fully broken water heater and no hot water. In this blog post, homeowners can learn three signs that indicate a new water heater may be needed.

The Appliance Has Corrosion

corrosion on the water heaterMany professionals recommend replacing a water heater if it has rust on the tank, the most common form of corrosion. Too much corrosion on the hot water tank can lead to leaks and other issues. What’s more, it generally points to neglected maintenance. An anode rod attracts the corrosive sediment in the tank and prevents it from causing problems. During maintenance, plumbers check or replace the anode rod and flush the tank of sediment buildup. Too much sediment inside a water heater could spell disaster in the future, including causing it to corrode.

When a homeowner consults with a trained plumber, they can learn whether the corrosion can be removed or if total replacement is necessary. A plumber may first try removing the corrosion using WD-40 (initially designed to remove corrosion). If this doesn’t work, they can explain the benefits of a new energy-efficient system.

Loss of Hot Water or Inconsistent Temperatures

The water heater is supposed to heat water but likely needs replacing if it starts being finicky and producing inconsistent temperatures. Temperature issues include:

  • The water heater doesn’t produce hot water long enough for an average shower or runs out faster than usual.
  • The water comes out hot, gets cold, and then returns to being hot.
  • The water never gets hot enough.

If a water heater stops producing consistent hot water, this could point to a faulty heating element. If the unit is less than 10 years old, a plumber may suggest replacing the part and going from there. If the unit is older than 10 years, getting a new water heater is likely more cost-effective than pouring money into a failing one.

Higher-Than-Average Energy Bills

high energy billsRising energy bills are another sign that something is wrong with the water heater and needs to be addressed. In the case of water heaters, increased energy bills could indicate a lack of energy efficiency due to aging or worn-out parts. High energy bills can also be caused by other factors like inadequate insulation or inefficient settings on the thermostat—but if none of those are applicable, then it’s likely that the water heater needs to be replaced soon.

It’s important for homeowners to keep an eye out for any signs that their water heater may need replacing. If any of these signs are present, it’s essential to contact a professional for an inspection before any damage worsens and causes more costly repairs or replacements. Routine maintenance can help minimize energy bills and save homeowners from having to replace their units sooner than necessary.

About VanDerBosch Plumbing Inc.

VanDerBosch Plumbing Inc. has over 30 years of experience serving Chicago, IL, residents. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and after-hours service. Call them today for hot water heater repair and installation in Chicago, IL.

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