Water heaters are an essential component of homes. They provide warm water for washing dishes, showering, laundry, and many other activities. However, like all things in life, they do not last forever; eventually, you will need to replace your residential water heater. Below are 5 signs it is time for residential water heater replacement this winter.
1. Age of the Unit
The average lifespan of a water heater is about 10 years. If your unit is approaching this age range, then it may be time to consider replacing it. Replacing an older unit can save you money in the long run as new models are more efficient and reliable than their predecessors. Furthermore, if your unit has been installed for over 10 years, chances are that it does not meet current safety standards, which could put you at risk for potential hazards like gas or electric leaks.
2. Rust and Corrosion
Most water heaters contain steel tanks that corrode over time due to oxidation and exposure to mineral deposits from hard water. A rust-covered tank not only looks unsightly but is also a sign that the walls of your water heater are weakening and could burst at any moment. Furthermore, if you notice corrosion around the pressure relief valve or anode rod, then this is an indication of excessive corrosion inside the tank, which can be very dangerous and should not be ignored.
3. Odd Noises
If you hear loud banging noises coming from your water heater when it's running, then this is a sure sign that something is not right with your unit. This noise could mean there is mineral buildup in the tank which causes sediment to accumulate on the bottom. The more sediment that builds up, the harder it is for heat to pass through, thus leading to those loud bangs as your heating element struggles to keep up with the demand.
4. Leaks/Moisture Around Unit
If you notice water or moisture pooling around your water heater, then this could be a sign of a leak inside the tank, which can lead to costly repairs. Furthermore, if left unchecked for too long, a leaking tank can cause severe structural damage to your home and even lead to dangerous levels of mold growth due to stagnant water in walls or floors. Replacing your water heater is the best way to ensure these problems don't occur.
5. Low Output/Insufficient Hot Water
When the water heater is no longer providing enough hot water for your family's needs, it could mean that the heating element has worn out or that there is mineral buildup in the tank which prevents heat from transferring efficiently. Regardless of the cause, a malfunctioning water heater can be dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible.