It can be easy to forget that you have an appliance in your home that is responsible for providing your hot water. You turn on the hot water faucet or turn on your shower, and the magic happens behind the scene. You just know that every time you need it, there is hot water at your beck and call until the day that there is not. And that is when you become acutely aware that you have a water heater that might not have been getting the care and maintenance needed. However, if you are paying attention, you can pick up on five not-so-subtle hints that it is time for you to begin shopping for a new water heater.
- Inconsistent Temperature- If your shower water is not as warm as it once was, you are likely to start investigating your water heater for issues. But in some cases, an older water heater can falter with water that is too hot as well as too cold. So you could find that the water is perfect when you climb into the shower, then suddenly it becomes too hot or too cold. This variation can be related to a failing thermostat, heating element, or sediment in the holding tank. But it is a sign that you should begin your quest for a new water heater.
- Loud Or Odd Noises- As a water heater ages, sediment builds up in the lower portion of the holding tank. And when that sediment touches the heating element and burns off, there are audible sounds like pops, banging, whining, and crackles. But these sounds are not really creating any additional hazard. The tank is not about to explode or rupture. However, they are an indication that the tank could be compromised by corrosion very soon due to the mineral build-up.
- Leaks- If you have seen small puddles near your home’s water heater, it is likely that there is damage to the holding tank. Even if you cannot see any water leaking at the moment, it could be tiny microfractures. The very small cracks only seep when the unit is heating water. The increased temperature allows the cracks to widen and a small amount of water to seep out. Then, as the tank cools, the gaps close up, and the leaking stops. There is no industry-approved process to repair any damage to a water heater tank. The only safe solution is the replacement of the entire water heater.
- Rusty Water- If you are finding that your hot water looks rusty, yellow, or has particles in it, your water heater could be at the end of its life. Check to see if the same issue appears in the cold water. If the problem is only in the hot water, it is time for a new water heater. The tank is deteriorating and contaminating your water.
- Age– Most water heaters last about ten to twelve years. If you are at that point and have not had any issues, be thankful. But also be prepared to start noticing other indications that it is time to get a new water heater installed.
There are currently many options for replacement water heaters, from gas and electric traditional models to tankless units or ones that use solar power to heat the water. To learn more about the different types of units and their pros and cons, call (208) 571-4089 for an appointment with a Viking Plumbing licensed plumber. Our pro will evaluate your current water heater and provide you with recommendations and price quotes for new water heaters for your home.