If you are like most people, you are dreading the day when you have to worry about replacing that dinosaur of a water heater. You might even be tempted to ignore it and spend your money on something more fun. However, old water heaters are important to pay attention to, as they responsible for about one in five household floods in the United States. Here are four signs that your water heater might need to be replaced soon, so that you can keep your eye out for a new one.
1: A Noisy System
Over time, your hot water heater will develop a buildup of sediment and mineral deposits, especially if you live in an area with hard water. This sediment can form large chunks of debris that can float around inside of the tank and bang against the metal walls of your system. If you hear noises coming from your hot water heater, it could be a sign of excessive levels of mineral buildup.
When your hot water heater tank is full of sediment, it will also work less efficiently. If interior space is taken up with mineral deposits, there is less room for stored water to be heated, which might reduce the availability of your hot water supply. Listen for weird little pops, bangs, or clanks. If they happen frequently, it might be time for a new water heater.
2: Trouble Controlling The Temperature
Temperature extremes are never fun when it comes time to take a bath or shower, but occasionally people get used to their quirky water heater. Sometimes people figure that their temperature troubles are just the way that their system runs, and they get used to turning water temperature way up or down in order to accommodate their needs. Unfortunately, if you have problems controlling water temperature, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your water heater.
Water heating systems have an internal thermostat that can develop issues over time. Wires can become worn, or electrical components can deteriorate. When thermostats fail, it can make it harder to keep a steady water temperature. Other times, the main heating element inside of water heaters can break. This can occur over time due to normal deterioration, but might indicate the need for a water heater replacement.
3: External Signs Of Damage
When water, oxygen, and iron get together, they can form rust. Although most people are used to seeing rust accumulate on metal objects over time, it can mean serious trouble if it shows up on your water heater. Rust can eat away at metal, which can lead your heater to develop holes or cracks.
If your water heater springs a leak, you could be looking at a serious flood. In addition to losing all of the liquid that your water heater is holding, the system will usually work to constantly try to refill itself, which can create a giant flood in your home.
Inspect your water heater a few times a year and check for external signs of damage. Finding a rusty spot or a small leak early can help you to fend off major disasters inside of your basement or utility closet.
4: It’s Just Old
Sometimes, people like to pretend that appliances will last forever, especially ones that sit behind closed doors. The fact of the matter, however, is that water heaters will only last an average of 10-11 years, depending on which type it is.
In order to determine the likelihood of replacing your system, try to find the installation date of your water heater. If you know that the heater is original to the house, figure out when your place was built. Knowing the age of your water heater can help you to budget accordingly for a new system.
Keeping tabs on your water heater can help you to reduce instances of flooding, while keeping your family comfortable.