A water heater is designed to keep you enjoying your hot showers for ten years though sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Occasionally, a water heater will start to have problems before it should which will leave you dealing with cold water and the need to replace your system.
Since water heaters are generally tucked away and unseen, many homeowners don’t pay much attention to them. This isn’t normally a big deal because they’re generally pretty reliable and don’t require much attention.
But it’s important to keep an eye on your system to make sure you catch any of these signs that you need a new water heater. The quicker you get a replacement the more likely you are to avoid missing your hot water for long.
1. Water is Still Cold
Obviously, the clearest sign that you’re having water heater problems is when you aren’t getting any hot water. Sometimes it takes a very long time for the water to heat up and other times the water never gets to your desired temperature. Either way, there’s something not working in the system.
While frustrating, a lack of hot water from your water heater doesn’t automatically mean that you need a whole new unit. Sometimes it’s a simple fix and then you’re back up and running.
Other times, the problem will persist or will never resolve even after several attempts. When that happens it’s time to look into installing a new system to get you back in business.
2. Pilot Light Goes Out Often
One of those smaller issues that could be contributing to your lack of hot water is if the pilot light goes out. This is an annoying problem that is often left going on for far too long.
Many homeowners simply relight the pilot whenever it goes out instead of getting to the root of the problem. It seems like such an easy fix, especially when you’re in need of hot water right away. But this can make it so you’re dealing with an ineffective unit for way too long.
If you see a regular pattern with the pilot light, start looking to buy a water heater that will stay consistent.
3. Leaking Water
With so much water running through your water heater a day, the last thing you need is for it to develop a leak. That could be incredibly damaging to your home. Especially because water heaters are often tucked away in areas you don’t see every day, the leak could go unnoticed for too long.
A simple visible check of the surrounding area should be sufficient enough to know if there is a leak or not.
4. Visible Rust or Corrosion
Taking a few seconds to visibly inspect your water heater and the surrounding area is a good start to finding issues. There may still be water heater problems starting that you can’t see.
Anytime you have water and metal mixed together you have the possibility of rust or corrosion occurring.
These can both happen on the outside of the tank if it’s exposed to standing water. More commonly you’ll find these issues have taken root inside of the tank itself. When your water is coming out with dark brown or red coloring or smelling metallic, stop using it immediately. It’s time to call in the professionals to assess the situation.
5. Makes Loud Noises
As we’ve been saying, the water heater is often one of the most forgotten appliances throughout your home because it’s out of sight, and out of mind for most homeowners. Its quiet nature also makes it easy to keep off your mind.
When a water heater is running, there may be a soft hum or the sound of water filling the tank back up. When the unit is going bad, there may be much louder noises happening like a rattling or thumping. This is due to the buildup starting to break loose and move around while the water is heating.
Occasionally this can be cleaned but, more likely, you’ll need to get a new water heater.
6. Technology is Outdated
Some appliances were built to withstand the test of time and last for decades. A water heater isn’t one of those systems.
These pieces of equipment have a definite expiration date simply because of the materials used and how they operate. It’s important to replace a water heater once it’s around ten years old to avoid potential issues.
The good news is, that there have been advancements in water heater technology. So you’ll get to choose between a variety of types of water heaters to find the one that will work best for your home and family.
7. Lack of Maintenance
When you move into a home, generally you inherit whatever water heater was there before since it’s not commonly something replaced during your move-in period. This means you’re taking on whatever issues have already started brewing inside as well. Those issues could be serious if there wasn’t proper maintenance performed on a regular basis.
Depending on the shape of the water heater, it might be a good idea to replace it before problems arise just to be sure you’re never left without hot water.
Time to Get a New Water Heater
Hot water is one of those modern-day conveniences that we’ve become so accustomed to it’s hard to imagine not being able to enjoy it. That is until your hot water heater starts to have real problems.
The best thing you can do is be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of failure so you can get a new water heater as fast as possible. This will help you avoid having to take cold showers, pause using your dishwasher, and all the other amenities that require it. Once you notice a possible issue, call your plumber right away for a professional inspection.
Our team is ready to help you determine if your water heater can be fixed or if you need a full replacement. Contact us to set up an appointment today!