Time for a new hot water heater?

Published On: May 21, 2019Categories: Water Heaters

One of the most common questions homeowners have is this one: How will I know it’s time to replace my hot water tank, assuming I don’t want to wait until it fails completely and floods my basement? The purpose of this blog post is to help you determine when the time has come to start shopping for a replacement hot water heater.

First of all, congratulations for being proactive! When a hot water tank ruptures or rusts through, you end up with an expensive mess on your hands, particularly if you’re not at home when the tank fails. When your system tries to refill a broken tank, water pours onto your basement floor causing thousands of dollars in damage. You want to avoid this catastrophe if at all possible.

You can usually assess the status of your hot water tank by taking into account four main factors: the age of the tank, whether there is evidence of any leaks, the condition of your water and unusual noises.

Old tanks are ripe for replacement

Most water heaters last between 10 and 15 years, though some can last quite a bit longer than that. But once you hit the 15 year mark, you should start thinking about replacing the tank. Most water heaters don’t last long beyond that time, and you don’t want to be running your house on borrowed time.

What happens is that mineral deposits build up over time. These can reduce the tank’s ability to efficiently convert gas or electricity into heat, and over time this can cost you money in the form of higher utility bills. Modern heaters are much more efficient than the one you’re figuring on replacing. Some use much less electricity to run and can produce hot water with 20 percent more efficiency. If you replace your old tank with a new one, you’ll be reaping the financial benefits of higher efficiency for years to come!

Watch for evidence of leaks: they are not good!

It’s a good idea to watch for wet or damp spots on the floor around your hot water heater. Look at the seams. Do you see any signs of rust or wetness? What about the near the very bottom of tank? Any signs of moistness or leaking there? If so, the tank is in danger of failing and should be replaced.

The condition of your water matters

If you have well water, you probably have a lot of iron in your water, along with many other minerals. These can be hard on your water system. Do you notice stains in your toilet bowls? Are white sheets coming out of the wash a bit yellowish? Does your hot water have a slight odor? All of these signs point to rust in your tank, and that can be an indication that the tank needs to be replaced.

What are you hearing?

A properly running water heater is almost silent. If your tank is making noises, something is wrong. Listen for cracking sounds, or a whining sound or clanging or thumping. These sounds mean something isn’t right.

If you’re unsure about the status of your hot water heater, by all means call in a professional! We are water heater experts, usually installing nearly 400 water heaters a year all throughout Northeast Ohio. We carry both conventional hot water heaters as well as the new tankless versions that keep hot water always instantly at your fingertips.

Don’t risk having your tank fail! Give us a call and schedule a hot water tank checkup and evaluation. You’ll get peace of mind and possibly avoid a major headache. And if your hot water heater is still sound, we’ll advise you of that and give you some tips on how to make it last even longer.

This kind of friendly service is why we always say, “When you call The Plumbing Source, you’ve made the RIGHT call!

Call us at 216-365-0600 or toll-free for 24/7 service at 877-768-7239.

Plumbing emergency? We respond any time!

Find out more about The Plumbing Source’s comprehensive plumbing, drain and sewer services.