The worst time to address getting a new water heater is after the old one has already failed. If you’d rather avoid showering in the freezing cold, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for. Here are three clear signs that you need a new water heater—today.
Your Water Heater is Older Than the Bush Administration
One easy way to gauge whether it’s time to change out your water heater is age. To check the manufacturing age of your water heater, you’ll need to find the appliance’s serial number—this is typically found on a sticker on the upper portion of the heater. In most cases, a serial number is written in a code that will look something like “A074950393.” The letter stands for the month—A is the first letter, which means it stands for the first month, January. And 07 means 2007 (although you can check your manufacturer’s website if you’re not sure). If your water heater is actually from January 07, then you may need a newer model, since 10 years is the recommended timeline for replacement.
It Sounds Like a Washing Machine
If your water heater has started to make a lot of rumbling noises, this isn’t a great sign. Most water isn’t entirely “pure”—it has various trace amounts of minerals and metals in it. Over the course of years, these sediments build up on the bottom of your tank. As it becomes heated and reheated over and over again, the sediment will eventually harden into a mass. Sediment spells trouble for two reasons. First, your heater needs to use more energy to heat the water every time—costing you money each time it happens. Second, because the heater needs more time to heat the water (you may notice that you run out of hot water sooner), this results in greater wear and tear on the heater. Overheating metal can make it brittle and liable to crack or leak.
The Tell-Tale Leak
A leak is a pretty obvious sign that your water heater has reached the end of its natural lifespan. Every time your water heater heats up, the metal expands, pushing out against any fractures and cracks. Oftentimes your appliance will only leak when it is in use—once the metal can cool and shrink again, the inner tank stops leaking. So, while you might not observe the tank leaking directly, a pool of water around your tank is a sign you need to call a professional in order to prevent an even worse disaster.
Is your water heater sounding worse for the wear? Contact the water treatment experts at Elite Plumbing for more information on water heaters. They can advise you on whether it’s time to send the old heater to the curb, and let you know about the latest, more energy-efficient models you can replace it with.