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4 Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Water Heater

water heater thermostat

It’s not unusual for a water heater to require one or two repairs throughout its lifespan. However, there does come a time when every water heater must be replaced. Ideally, you’ll want to replace your water heater right before it stops working entirely—that way no one in the house has to go without hot showers while waiting for a replacement.

But how do you know if it’s time to replace your water heater? The signs below are a fairly good indication that it’s time to start shopping for a new model.

1. The water heater has reached its life expectancy.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, a tank water heater will last you about 10 years. A tankless model will typically last more than 20 years. If your water heater has reached or surpassed, its life expectancy, its performance and efficiency are probably not up to par, and it doesn’t have much longer to go.

2. The tank has rusted through.

If your tank water heater is showing any signs of rust on the outside, then the inside is definitely worse. Rust can be a major problem for a water heater because it makes the metal extremely brittle. As the metal water heater tank expands and contracts with temperature changes, rust makes it easy for cracks to form in the tank walls. Once the tank walls crack, water will leak out, potentially resulting in a lot of water damage.

Reddish or orange-brown hot water can also be a sign of a rusty tank, so keep an eye out for that as well. While some rusty parts of a water heater can be fixed, a plumber cannot provide an effective, long-term repair for a cracked, rusty water heater tank.

3. The tank makes increasingly loud creaking or rumbling noises.

In tank water heaters, sediment can form a solid layer over the heating element at the bottom of the tank. The trapped water and air under that layer form bubbles that try to break through sediment, which can create that rumbling noise.

Typically, flushing your water heater once a year can take care of the sediment problem. However, if the tank is not flushed regularly, the sediment can become a significant issue over time. Severe sediment buildup can increase the risk of damage inside the tank and make the water heater less efficient.

4. The water heater no longer meets your hot water needs.

Whether the equipment has worn out or your household has grown, you may find yourself with a water heater that doesn’t meet your needs anymore. If you are constantly running out of hot water, it’s time to talk to a plumber about installing a water heater with a larger capacity. If you own a tankless water heater, you may need a model with a higher flow rate or a second water heater so that one can be designated for appliances while the other can be used for sinks and showers.

At Quality Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, our Sevier and Morristown plumbers take pride in providing our customers with quality water heater repairs and replacements. Give us a call at (865) 622-7785 or contact us online today!

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