It’s easy to forget about your water heater while it’s working, but when it fails, you learn to appreciate the benefits of modern plumbing. Cold showers in the winter and no hot water for scrubbing the dishes create uncomfortable and unsanitary conditions. But how can you know if your water heater needs replacement before a catastrophic failure? There are signs, and if you are having any of these troubles, contact Air Force Heating in Calgary right away.
9 Signs It Might Be Time to Replace Your Hot Water Heater
- Cooler Showers: As a water heater ages, its efficiency and effectiveness wane. Often, a failing water heater results in a slow loss of heating capacity rather than a sudden deluge of frigid water. If you think your water heater may fail, it’s easy to test: start your next shower at your regular temperature and see if the water warms like normal. If the water takes too long to heat or remains at a cooler level, your water heater may be in trouble.
If your shower runs cold, be sure to eliminate the pilot light as a cause before considering a new water heater. When a pilot light goes out, the problem is often erroneously blamed on the water heater. In fact, a pilot light outage can be easily remedied.
- Odd Noises: Water heater trouble often reveals itself through an awful noise that occurs when it starts. Though some noises are normal, if a new noise suddenly begins, it might be an indicator that your water heater is about to quit. If you hear an odd noise, be sure to check for any water leakage around the water heater. If the unit is old and leaking, it’s probably time to replace the unit.
Newer water heaters are often repairable. If you hear funny noises and have a water leak, make sure to contact Air Force Heating right away.
- Rusty Water: Have you turned on the hot water only to be greeted by rusty-colored water? This discoloration is created by brown particles that are discharged into the water because of a failing water heater. As a water heater ages, its internal components gradually corrode. By the time the corrosion grows bad enough to leak rust into the water, the heater has nearly reached the end of its useful life.
It is only a matter of time before the corroded parts fail, resulting in reduced hot water and eventually frigid temperatures even from the hot water tap.
Many homeowners consider rust treatment for their water. If you have a new water heater, it’s possible that the rust comes from a source other than the water heater; however, if you have an old water heater and rust suddenly appears, there’s a good chance the water heater needs replacement.
- Foul Smelling Water: As a water heater ages, its gradual breakdown often becomes apparent from a metallic taste or smell. This smell often presents itself when you turn on the shower or bathtub hot water tap or when you use the hot water in the kitchen sink.
Many homeowners have the displeasure of experiencing hot water that has a rotten egg smell. Often, this smell results from a faulty anode rod in the water heater. When this is the culprit, replacing the rod provides a cost-effective way to eliminate this sickening smell. In other cases, the water heater simply needs to be flushed. Once the tank is cleaned of impurities, the smell disappears.
For homes with well systems, a foul smell may come from the well itself. In that case, a sulfur filtering system for the home is needed.
- Hot Water Peters Out: Your hot water heater should provide plenty of power to keep water warm for a long shower or bath. When the hot water begins to run out before you can complete your regular shower or fill your tub, the water heater needs some attention. If the water heater is outdated, it’s likely it has begun the process of wearing out, and replacing it provides the most convenient and cost-effective method.
When a newer model has trouble keeping the water warm for long periods, there may be a problem with one of the components. Likely, the faulty component can be fixed or replaced. For example, heating elements often break down in electric water heaters. When the water heater still has a number of years of useful life remaining, replacing the heating element makes more financial sense than purchasing a new unit.
- Leaks!: Wise homeowners periodically inspect their water heaters for leaks. When they spot one, they waste no time contacting a repair service like Air Force Heating. We perform a thorough inspection that determines the cause of the leak and provide a quote for the repair costs. Depending on the age of the water heater, replacement may be a more economical option.
Common causes of leaks include the drain valve, hot- and cold water lines, and the pressure relief valve. Often, these problems can be fixed by replacing these components, leaving you with a water heater that will keep you in comfort for years to come. However, when the leaking comes from the tank, it’s generally better to replace the unit. Fixing a tank leak temporarily stops the problem but usually leads to bigger water heater failures down the road.
- Corrosion: Severe rusting of components should always be taken seriously. Some components rust without causing unsightly brown water. Wise homeowners check for rust during their periodic water heater inspections. When checking for corrosion, make sure to inspect the exterior casing, interior lining, drain valve, water lines, and pressure relief valve.
- Old Age: As a water heater nears the end of its useful life, it’s helpful to plan for the replacement rather than waiting for a leak, brown water, or cold showers. Most water heaters last between six- and ten years. As with a used car, once the unit reaches a certain age, it runs on borrowed time.
- Mineral Deposits: Over time, minerals naturally build up in the water heater. When these deposits grow excessively, a white or greenish substance often appears on the floor around the appliance. These excessive deposits interrupt the function of the unit, ultimately resulting in malfunction. These deposits generally form over long periods of time. Units are usually old, and replacement is the best option.
- Constant Repairs: Like an old car, an aging water heater tends to have one breakdown after another. Considering that the unit is nearing the end of its useful life, pouring more money into it makes little sense. Replacing the unit now allows you to enjoy a new, well-functioning water heater with none of the hassles that go along with continued repairs.
Get Your Heater Replaced!
Most people think little about their hot water heaters until the faucets run cold. Most water heaters last between six and ten years, so if you have an older water heater, make sure to inspect it and look for signs of trouble. When you see signs that it’s time to replace your hot water heater, contact Air Force Heating in Calgary for speedy and affordable water heater repair and replacement.