There are some things in life where it’s easy to tell when something’s gone wrong.
You know when your car has a flat tire. You know when milk has gone bad. You know when you’re getting a cold.
But when it comes to your hot water heater, it’s often not that easy to tell when it’s time for a new unit, unless you know what to look for.
First, how old is your water heater?
That’s an important question to answer, and you can find out by checking the serial number on the water heater.
Within that serial number is the date on which the water heater was manufactured. But you shouldn’t expect to see the dates written out in the typical fashion, like “2/28/08” or “17 March 2011.”
Instead, you might see just a string of numbers and letters. In some cases, the month is represented by a letter: A for the first month of the year, January, B for February, C for March, etc.
Not every manufacturer uses the same dating format, so check their website to see how you can decipher your serial number and determine the age of your water heater.
In most cases, if your unit is more than 10 years old, that serial number sticker might as well say “Replace Your Water Heater.”
Other signs that you need to replace a water heater include:
1. Rusty water
Rusty water could be a sign that the water heater has begun to corrode on the inside and will soon begin to leak. But it could also just mean you have a rusty pipe.
You can establish what the problem is by draining a few buckets of hot water from your water heater. If the water still looks rusty after the third bucket, the problem is with the heater, not your pipes.
Over time, sediment builds in the bottom of your water heater tank. Your water heater then essentially cooks that sediment, causing it to harden.
When this happens, you’ll begin to hear rumbling from the heater as it fires up. This sound might as well be a “Replace Water Heater” alarm.
That’s because this sediment build-up makes your water heater less efficient. The sediment acts as an insulator, keeping heat from reaching the water. The more build-up you have, the less heat reaching your water supply.
At the same time, the sediment build-up makes your unit more susceptible to damage. If you hear a rumbling, look for small leaks. If you spot a leak, it’s time for a new water heater.
3. Water outside the water heater
A leaking hot water heater can flood your home if it’s not replaced right away. If you’re seeing moisture around the heater, it could be a sign of a small leak, or a fracture in the tank.
You should also look for leaks from the fittings or connections to the tank before replacing your heater. If these components are dry, the leak is coming from your tank, sounding the “Replace Water Heater” alarm yet again.
If you’ve seen any of these warning signs – or have an older water heater and want to avoid a problem before it starts – All Seasons Comfort Control can help.
Our experts have spent more than 15 years installing electric and gas water heaters to homes across the region. Contact us today to schedule service.