Your water heater typically provides hot water for showers, running the dishwasher, and doing loads of laundry. Unfortunately, water heaters tend to get the least amount of attention from homeowners until they suddenly breakdown and trigger chaos in the home. If your water heater breaks down when you are low on emergency savings, your household will be forced to endure many mornings of cold showers. Even if you have the funds for an immediate replacement, the sudden failure of the water heater will throw a cog into the wheels of the regular order of your household schedule.
However, contrary to popular belief, water heaters don’t just happen to break down overnight. In most cases, the water heater would have been showing signs that one or more of its components is no longer in optimal working conditions.
Unfortunately, many homeowners lack the expertise to properly diagnose when their water heater is being inefficient, until it is too late. This post however provides insight into simple signs that could indicate that it is high time you started thing about replacing your water heater.
The first sign for knowing when its time to buy a new water heater is the age of the water heater in your house. Most water heaters are designed to last between 10 and 15 years. If your house is more than 15 years old, you may want to find out when the current water heater was installed. If the water heater has been installed for more than 15 years, you should start saving up funds towards a new water heater irrespective of whether you have problems with your water heater or not.
If you can spot water leaking from the water heater or there’s water pooling around the heater; it is a sign that the internal tank of the heater might be cracked. Interestingly, the initial leak doesn’t usually seem to look particularly alarming. However, the leaking when left unattended might eventually increase into a drip that could end up flooding your house if the water tank eventually bursts.
What is worse than cold showers? Lukewarm water!
When you are taking a cold shower, at least your mind is prepared because you already know what to expect. Taking a shower with lukewarm water is a frustrating experience and it is a sign that something is wrong with your water heater. If you have lukewarm water, check and adjust the thermostat to be between 120 and 140 degrees. If you still have lukewarm water afterwards, the heating element in the heater system has probably failed and you should get ready to replace your water heater.
The anode rod in your water heater unit is designed to attract corrosive elements and the regular replacement of the anode rod could help your water heater reach its maximum lifespan. You should check out your water heater once you start seeing sandy or muddy water, hot water with metallic taste & smell or water with rust particle. In some instances, you might fix the problem by draining the tank and removing sediments. In other cases, you replacing the anode rod might be effective. However, if the rust has gone on for an extended time and it has damaged the relief valves and connections; you might be better off changing the whole water.
If people in your household are starting to run out of hot water mid bath, it might mean that your water heater is delivering low water volume. Loss of water volume might be caused by buildup of sediment in the tank, the sediments take up space and thereby reduce how much water the tank can take. The build up of sediments could also be accompanied by undefined noise when the water heater is in use.
Interestingly, a seemingly loss of water volume might not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your water heater. It might just mean that the number of people in your household or the peak water usage in your house has increased and you might need to get a bigger-sized water heater.