Conventional tank-style water heaters have a lifespan of around 10 years. Depending on the amount of use and whether or not it has been properly maintained, it could last significantly longer, or need replacement much sooner. So how do you know when it's time to replace the water heater or whether you should continue making repairs?
Water Heater LeaksWater heater leaks can be the result of a faulty valve or leaking pipe. If this is the case, it may just need a simple repair to keep it operating. If the water heater is leaking because of corrosion, it may be time to replace the unit. Also, consider the age of the unit before making repairs. If it's more than seven years old, it make make sense to invest in a new water heater rather than repairing an old unit. Upgrading to a newer, energy efficient water heater may make more sense.
The Water Heater Is Slow to Heat WaterFirst, check that the thermostat on the water heater is set high enough. If demand for hot water has increased in the home, you may just need a larger capacity tank installed. If the tank is nit large enough, you can upgrade to a larger tank, or a install a tankless water heater instead. Slow heating can also be caused by a build-up up rust and sediment. Flush the tank to remove the sediment. If the water heater is still not heating fast enough after flushing the unit, it may be time for a new water heater.
Malfunctioning Water HeaterIn some cases the water heater may be have broken parts that need replacement. A plumber can check the heating element (electric water heaters) thermostat, gas burner and thermocoupler to make sure they are functioning correctly. Consider the age of the unit against the cost of repairs when deciding whether to repair the unit.
Have questions about water heaters? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.