A failing water heater practically defines a chancey situation, because we can never predict when the unit will finally give out. However, for most homeowners it does seem to happen at the most inconvenient time. Thankfully, you can often avoid damage, and a significant disruption to your daily life, just by watching for key signs. When you spot a telltale sign, it could be time for a water heater replacement.
As your home’s water heater begins to age, sediment accumulates at the bottom of the tank. You’ll begin hearing creaks, bangs, and rumbles from the water heater tank itself. These noises are caused by heating and reheating of the built-up sediment. Further, sediment buildup actually takes up space, wasting energy – and leaving you with less hot water throughout the house.
Age will always be a determining factor in replacing a water heater. If you’re unsure of just when your current water heater was installed or replaced, then it’s likely time for a replacement right now. Typically, water heaters should be professionally replaced every 10 years, give or take. If your water heater is struggling, and is over 10 years old, it’s a sure sign that something’s wrong and a decision must be made.
We spoke briefly of sediment buildup creating odd noises. But did you know that extensive buildup can also contaminate the water supply throughout your home? You’ll spot rust-colored water, sand, grit, or sediment in your shower or sink. No one wants that! If the water has a metallic taste, the supply is contaminated. A tank flush may resolve the issue. However, contaminated water is often a significant warning sign that your water heater is headed down a dark path. The tank itself may be rusting. In that case, a replacement is the only fix.