There comes a time that every water heater has to be replaced. Looking for the signs that indicate failure, or potential failure will help you determine the best time to go ahead and have the appliance replaced.
No Hot Water
One of the most obvious signs that you need to replace a water heater is when it quits generating even luke-warm water. Check to make sure you still have gas or electric service. You can quickly make a mistake and think the water heater is out, but the gas is or electric has been shut off instead.
Leak Around the Water Heater
Water leaks, even small ones can indicate there is a small rupture in the tank. make sure all plumbing fittings are tight. If there is no issue with the plumbing, the tank most likely has at least a small leak. This is the time to replace the water heater before the leak gets worse and causes a flood in your home, basement or utility area.
Age of the Water Heater
There should be a sticker located at the top of the appliance with a serial number. The letter at the beginning signifies the number of the month the water heater was manufactured. If it is a “D” the appliance was manufactured the fourth month of the year, which would be April. The following two numbers will indicate the year. “03” will mean the appliance was manufactured in 2003. Now you know how to tell the exact age of your water heater. Anything more than 10 years old is recommended to be replaced to avoid an unexpected breakdown.
Sounds From the Water Heater
When the water heater tank is clean it will work silently. If you hear a “knocking” or “gurgling” sound, there is probably a large amount of sediment build-up that will bring down the efficiency of your appliance. An annual cleaning helps keep this from happening, but over the years this is unavoidable.
Rusty Water From Hot Side Only
Rusty water that tastes bad and has a foul odor is a problem. No one want to drink or bathe with water that is gross to see and smell. Galvanized pipes can be rusty and cause this problem, but if it is only being generated from the hot water tap, it could be the water heater rusting internally. Check this by running at least five rounds of five-gallon buckets of water through the hot water side. If the water clears up it is most likely not the water heater. If it remains foul looking and smelling, replace the tank.
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