Since winter just passed and summer is right around the corner, it’s time to talk about the most beloved home appliance: The Water Heater. Water heaters are essential in this day and age and when a water heater goes out, it never happens in the most opportune moment.
“We get calls all the time,” stated Tony Misleh, owner of Courtesy Plumbing Inc. in San Diego, CA, “of people who tell us they were in the middle of the shower when their hot water ran out, so we end up giving them emergency water heater service.”
“It happened to me!” exclaimed Christy, manager at Courtesy Plumbing Inc., “I was in the middle of a warm shower when suddenly the water got ice cold. I came out of the shower simply shivering!”
Misleh shared some tips to let readers know when it’s time to consider water heater replacement.
Tip 1: If the water heater is 10 years old, it’s time to replace it. Water heaters normally have a 10 year lifespan and by that time, a water heater has taken a lot of damage due to hard water. The calcium buildup as well as the internal rust have made it inefficient and may be costing the consumer more to heat up the water.
Tip 2: Look out for rusty water. If you notice water looking brownish when you turn on the hot water, it’s most likely that the water heater has begun to rust on the inside and will begin to leak soon. It’s obviously time to replace it.
Tip 3: Listen for rumbling sounds and noise. Over time as water gets heated over and over, sediment builds at the bottom of the water heater. This sediment buildup also gets reheated and eventually hardens. That’s when people hear rumbling or thumping sounds coming from their water heater as it heats up water. That’s also a sign that the water heater is nearing the end of its life.
That hardened sediment also translates to: Less efficiency and more damage. Less efficiency in that the water heater has to use more electricity or more gas to heat up the water. More damage in that the extra time required to heat the water will cause more damage to the tank and therefore begin to crack it.
Tip 4: Keep a lookout for any water around the water heater. The outside and surrounding areas of a water heater should always be dry. If any moisture is detected, then it’s a sure sign that the water heater is beginning to leak.
A leaking water heater is a ticking time bomb. It doesn’t mean it will explode or anything, it simply means it’s about to fail… and it will happen when least expected. Contact your local plumber and have them inspect. Most offer a free or low-cost inspection of your water heater.