Although it’s an essential part of a comfortable home, your hot water heater often goes unnoticed… until something goes wrong. Looking out for early signs of failure can help you stay on top of things and replace your hot water heater before it breaks.
So, is it time to replace your hot water heater? How do you know? There are a few tell-tale signs that your hot water heater needs attention. If you’re experiencing any of these things, take action right away to prevent costly water damage, give yourself time to research your options, and avoid an emergency replacement.
Signs It May Be Time to Replace Your Water Heater
1. Your Water Heater is Over Ten Years Old or Showing Signs of Old Age
The average lifespan of a water heater is between 8 to 12 years. This varies depending on the quality of installation, type of unit, water quality, and how well it is maintained. If your hot water heater is approaching its suggested service life, it may be time for a replacement soon. Not only will it deteriorate with age, but components and replacement parts for older water heaters may not be as readily available, making repairs more challenging and expensive.
If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, check the serial number. This can be found on the tank and will likely begin with a letter from A to L. The first two digits that follow indicate the year it was manufactured. For example, 08 represents the year 2008.
2. Strong Smells or Discoloration
A buildup of minerals and sediment in your water heater can cause discolored or cloudy water in your taps. When corrosion happens, rust builds and can leak into the water supply.
If you have a newer water heater, a replacement may not be necessary. There are many reasons for water discoloration to occur, including an issue with the pipes, rusted parts, or a need to drain the contents of the tank and clear out the sediment.
In any case, discolored water is a cause for alarm and will need attention. If you see sandy or rust coloured water, especially if it’s accompanied by a distinct metallic smell, give us a call at Ashton for a professional assessment. We’d love to help you out!
3. Inadequate Heating
One of the most obvious reasons to replace your water heater is that there is not enough hot water circulating throughout the house. Sometimes the devices and mechanisms inside will break, and this can be solved with a simple repair; however, inadequate heating may be a sign that it’s time to completely replace your hot water heater.
Whether your water isn’t as hot, periods of hot water don’t last as long, or there’s no hot water at all, fluctuations in water temperature indicate that your water heater is starting to fail, and it may be time for a new one.
4. Your Hot Water Heater is Leaking
Near the end of their lifespan, hot water heaters tend to leak around the floor of the tank. This is a clear indication that there is something failing or clogged within the hot water tank. Slow, seemingly minor leaks can escalate quickly and could result in a break in the tank, causing a flood and extensive water damage.
If you notice a leak or puddles starting to form around your hot water heater when it’s in use, give us a call at Ashton right away.
5. Loud, Unusual Noises
If your hot water heater has suddenly started making loud noises that you don’t recognize, it could be time for a replacement. Popping, banging, or cracking sounds are often signs that it’s time for a new hot water heater, especially if your current one is reaching the end of its lifespan.
Over time, sediment builds up, and these sounds are caused from sediment banging against the side of the tank. If it’s not flushed out, the sediment can grow harder and thicker along the floor, wearing the heater down and accelerating damage to the tank. If your water heater is new, this issue could be easily resolved with a tank flush by a professional plumber, but it’s always a good idea to have it assessed.
Hot Water Heater Maintenance and Repair
At Ashton, we work with the premier hot water heater experts in the greater Vancouver area. If your hot water heater isn’t showing signs of old age, but you’re experiencing one of the signs listed above, it can likely be repaired and bring you warmth and comfort for years to come. Give us a call for all your maintenance, replacement, and repair needs!