Are you having issues with your hot water heater? Water heaters, whether we’re talking tanks or tankless, are usually dependable appliances. When they start showing signs of trouble, it might be time to install a new water heater… or you might get by with just a water heater repair. How do you tell the difference? Read on.
1. Water Heater Is Too Old
How old is “too old” for water heaters? How long do water heaters last? As we mentioned, the upper limit tends to be approximately an 8 to 12-year lifespan for a hot water tank or 20 years for a tankless on-demand heater. That’s assuming you’ve been conscientious about maintenance.
2. How To Check The Age Of Your Water Heater
If you’re not sure of your water heater’s age (perhaps it was already in place when you bought your home), there’s a quick way to check. For newer models, the date of manufacture is indicated clearly on the label. If your unit is older, look for either the installation date or the serial number — usually, the first few digits will tell you the date it was made.
3. Too Many Repairs
It just doesn’t make financial sense to keep paying to patch up an ageing appliance. When your water heater needs too many repairs, consider investing your money in a new, more efficient model instead.
4. Rusty Water Heater
Rust is your water heater’s worst enemy since a rusty water tank leads to leaks and water damage in your home. First, check the pressure relief valve and water inlet. Any rust on these two components tends to be a good clue that rust is also forming inside the tank and will eventually eat through the metal unless you install a replacement.
5. Water Heater Noises
Rumbling, sizzling, or popping sounds from your water heater may signal trouble ahead. They are often caused by leakage or mineral sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank. In the early stages, it might be possible to fix these issues, but without prompt attention, you may end up needing a new water heater. An early sign of this issue is finding your hot water becoming too hot.
6. Leaking Water Heater
The primary cause of your water heater leaking is due to expansions of the tank’s metal. These will naturally occur over time, because the tank will experience thousands of cycles of heating water.
Sometimes a water leak isn’t a result of a faulty tank. It can be caused by poor fittings or connections to the tank itself, or improper pressure/temperature in the overflow pipe.
A leaking hot water tank is a serious problem for your home; water leaking into your basement means you’re at risk of flooding, destroyed belongings, and mold. Unfortunately, leaks from the hot water tank can’t be repaired. Sorry, but you’ll have to begin looking for a replacement.
7. Hot Water Is A Rusty Colour
Rusty brownish hot water is often a warning of rust inside your water tank. To be sure that this is the source, check that turning on your cold faucet produces clear, colourless water. If so, you’ll probably need a new water heater.
8. Hot Water Not Hot Enough
A variety of factors can cause hot water that is just not as hot as you would like. Have a professional diagnose your water heater if you’ve checked that the thermostat was not set lower than usual. The problem might be a faulty heating element, a damaged gas valve (for a gas water heater), a broken dip tube, or a mineral buildup.
Alternatively, the heater may be too small for your household needs, which generally means replacing your heater is the best idea.
9. Smelly Water
Strong odours coming from your faucets can be caused by a variety of reasons. You can check if it’s your water heater by running both hot and cold water and seeing if there’s a difference between the two. A smell coming from both might mean your water quality is not where it should be.
If just your hot water is smelling, it might be a sign that your current hot water heater needs to be looked at. Bacteria in the tank could cause a rotten egg or sewage smell, and you’ll need to thoroughly clean and flush the tank. You might also need to replace the anode rod, as these can get corroded.
A garlic smell might be the result of an issue with your gas line or pilot light. If this occurs, be sure to turn off the unit, ventilate the area, and call your gas company and a plumber as soon as possible.
10. Increased Water Bill
If you haven’t noticeably increased your water usage, yet your water bill has drastically gone up, this is a sign your water heater is getting older and less efficient.
It might not be enough to warrant a total replacement, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on so that worse problems can be addressed before they can cause major damage to your home.
11. Improper Water Heater Size
An old water heater that worked for your family a decade ago might not be capable of handling an increased demand. More family members means more usage.
Most recommendations for tank-style water heaters are based on the household occupant number, but it isn’t the only factor. You also have to consider how often your family uses water appliances (such as showers, washing machines, dishwashers, etc) concurrently.
For The Hot Water You Need
Hot water is a daily essential in today’s homes. For the reliable hot water supply you need, Dr HVAC offers expert local water heater rentals, water heater repair and replacement in Brampton.
Here’s what a happy customer has to say about Dr HVAC’s excellent water heater replacement service (in his 5-star Google review):
Chris and Jo did an excellent job of installing our new water heater. They were efficient and professional and left everything neat and tidy. From the beginning contact with Dr HVAC through to the end we were surprised at how quickly they assessed what we needed, provided detailed pricing and completed the task. Chris even came back later to make sure the water was at the temperature we needed. Thanks to the Dr HVAC team!
PS Are you thinking of switching to a new tankless water heater? Talk to us today for answers to all your questions.