How to Recognize That You Need a New Water Heater

by | Jan 16, 2013 | Plumbing

Common Water Heater Problems and Signs You Might Need a New Unit

Your home’s water heater is probably the most costly component of your plumbing system, and many common water heater problems are actually pretty easy to figure out and repair without the assistance of a plumber.

Temperature Problems

If your water is too hot or doesn’t seem to get hot enough, fixing the problem is usually as simple as adjusting the thermostat on the unit. For most households, the ideal temperature for hot water is between 120 and 140 degrees.

If there is absolutely no hot water coming from the tank, you could have a broken heating element (or gas thermocouple, if your device is powered by natural gas). These components are easy to replace on your own and should restore your hot water supply right away.

Noise Problems

There is nothing worse than a hot water tank that bangs, creaks, knocks, or whines. Most noise issues are caused by the sediment that can build up inside the water tank; the debris comes in contact with the heating element, which makes lots of noise as it literally burns the sediment away. Flushing the tank usually corrects this problem.

Another reason hot water heaters make noise is because the heating element may be burning out. If you have flushed out your tank and removed the sediment but are still hearing strange noises, it could be time to replace the heating element.

Time to Replace?

Here are some of the things you will need to consider in order to determine if it is time to replace your hot water heater.

* Usage and Water Quality: Obviously, hot water heaters that see a ton of usage won’t last as long as those that are only used sparingly. If you have a growing family, you can expect your hot water needs to change as your kids grow, and this can impact the life of your hot water heater. Furthermore, if you live in an area with hard water, the mineral buildup inside the tank can clog plumbing lines and may shorten the life of the unit. If either of the above applies to you and you have been experiencing trouble with your hot water heater, it may be time to replace it.

* Age: Most residential water heaters are sold with a 5-year or 10-year warranty, so a new heater should last at least that long. However, if you live in an older home with an aging hot water heater, even common problems could be an indication that it is time to replace it. A hot water heater that is more than 15 or 20 years old and is clanging or knocking, failing to produce hot water, unable to produce hot water consistently, or unable to maintain a constant water temperature has probably reached the end of its life.

* Leaking: Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy fix for a leaking hot water tank. If you notice standing water anywhere near the unit, call a professional right away – you will need to replace the tank as soon as possible to prevent flooding or other damage to your home.

For proper water heater repair and replacement, please contact professionals from Horizon Services. We also specialize in General Plumbing Services and Sewer and Water Line Replacement!

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