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When Should Your Water Heater Be Replaced?

Jul 08, 2024

water heater fitting

Traditional water heaters can be easily maintained, but they can become problematic if they start to fail. It’s important to understand potential issues and when to fix them. Anderson Plumbing Heating & Air aims to ensure you’re prepared for any potential issues, whether you need a water heater maintained, repaired, or installed. We’re a trustworthy provider of plumbing and water heater services to residents in the San Diego area.

How Long Do Hot Water Heaters Last?

The average lifespan of a hot water heater is eight to 12 years. Some equipment, such as tankless water heaters, can endure for 15 to 25 years or more with regular maintenance. A water heater’s lifespan is determined by a number of factors, including the type of water heater, its quality, how well it has been maintained, and the water conditions in your location.

What Are the Signs My Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced?

Visible Corrosion

Visible corrosion is an indicator that your water heater is breaking down. Whether the corrosion is surrounding the water lines or on the unit itself, it indicates degradation. This can weaken the system and contribute to the water heater failing.

Water Leaking

Any leaks coming from your hot water heater’s joints, seals, or seams are typically a sign of trouble. This could be because of corrosion. Since a hot water heater is meant to be a closed system, any moisture found outside of one is a clue that something is not functioning properly. Leaks can worsen and endanger not just the water heater but also the surrounding objects and the environment.

Rust in Your Water

If you find rust in your water, it is pretty safe to assume that the interior of your water heater is corroding and breaking down. It may need some significant repairs, or you might have to replace your unit entirely. 

Lack of Hot Water

Sediment buildup inside the tank due to aging and inadequate maintenance might lower capacity. The inside of the tank may corrode and break down due to the chemicals and minerals in our water. The amount of water that is available for your home to heat and utilize can be decreased by the accumulation of silt and particles.

Rumbling Noises

Your water heater is probably struggling to function properly if it is creating strange noises, rumblings, or vibrations. Water heaters are made to be steady, dependable, and function silently. Rumbling is commonly the result of silt accumulating at the bottom of the tank. This can indicate a more serious issue. You should examine any noises that seem out of the ordinary.

If you encounter any of these problems, you should consider calling on the experts at Anderson Plumbing Heating & Air. We’ll help you evaluate your scenario and make the proper recommendations based on your situation.

How to Tell the Age of a Water Heater

Most manufacturers of water heaters include the heater’s age in the serial number. The serial number’s first four digits often indicate the year of manufacturing. You should be able to locate the code for your specific hot water tank system using the water heater’s brand name and serial number. By scheduling an assessment and necessary repairs with a professional, you can learn more about your current water heater and prevent a minor issue from growing into a major one.

man flusing a water heater

Does My Water Heater Need to Be Repaired or Replaced?

The decision on whether to repair or replace your water heater can be a complicated one. The cost depends on factors like repair costs, the age of the unit, and the type of water in your area. Gas units are generally cheaper to repair than electric ones. If your unit is over eight years old, replacing it may be more cost-effective. 

Additionally, if you live in an area with hard water, your water heater will likely not last as long as it would in an area with soft water. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional who can assess your situation and provide the best recommendation for your home.

How Often Should I Have Water Heater Maintenance?

You should flush a traditional tank water heater at least once a year to keep sediment accumulation at bay. If you use a gas water heater, make sure the anode rod is checked every year and replaced as necessary. The tank is shielded from corrosion by the anode rod. If your region has hard water, it contains minerals, and your tank should be flushed more frequently. An expert technician from Anderson Plumbing Heating & Air can assess your system and determine how often your water heater model needs to be flushed and maintained.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for a New Water Heater

Here are some things to think about when shopping for a new water heater:

  • Fuel Type and Availability: Consider the availability of power in your home and the cost of running a gas line for gas water heater installation, if necessary.
  • Size and Recovery Rate: Calculate the first-hour rating to determine the recovery rate of the water heater as well as the water generation capacity.
  • Energy Efficiency: Consider Energy Star-qualified models for cost savings.
  • Cost: Evaluate the cost of the unit and the operating costs, then compare to see which one fits within your budget and needs.

Should I Go With an Electric Heat Pump Instead?

Heat pump water heaters feature convenient user controls that allow you to adjust temperature settings and select between various operating modes. By replacing your aging electric water heater before it fails, you can start enjoying the savings right away.

Electric heat pumps are cleaner and safer for your home, generating hot water without burning fuel inside the home. They are easy to install and operate, with dramatically lower total carbon emissions. Switching to an electric heat pump removes a potential source of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from your home and can help reduce ground-level ozone, a common environmental problem in many metropolitan areas.

Choosing Electric Water Heaters Certified By ENERGY STAR

Electric water heaters with ENERGY STAR certification are more quiet, efficient, and supported by decades of development and study. For further peace of mind, they include an optional 6-year manufacturer guarantee and are independently certified. Heat pump water heaters generate hot water with dependability and efficiency in both warm and cold areas thanks to a hybrid design.

Making the switch to a heat pump water heater certified by ENERGY STAR can result in yearly energy cost savings of hundreds of dollars. Throughout its lifespan, a heat pump water heater can save a family of four over $5,600 in energy costs and around $550 in annual electric bill savings. It also delivers improved performance, dependability, and efficiency. Larger families, who often use more hot water, can save even more money.

Tankless hot water heater

Contact Us

Water heaters are essential investments for maintaining hot water in your home. If your tank leaks, is old or makes strange noises, it may be time to replace it. Traditional water heaters can eventually break down, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Anderson Plumbing Heating & Air in San Diego is ready to help with any problems with tank-style water heaters. If you’re experiencing any issues, don’t hesitate to contact them.

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