How Do I Know If My Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced?

A water heater is an essential appliance you use every day in your home. You use it to get hot water for taking showers, washing dishes and doing your laundry. When a water heater fails, you run the risk of having major leakage problems, or at the very least going without hot water in your home for an extended period of time.

So how do you know if your water heater needs to be replaced? Here’s some information from a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN that will help you determine if you need to upgrade your appliance:

  • The unit is old: You can find the age of your water heater by examining the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker, usually located near the top of the appliance. The first two numbers are typically the year it was installed. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, you should seriously consider replacing it. While you can engage in certain routine maintenance tasks to extend its life, ultimately all water heaters need to be replaced eventually.
  • You’re experiencing rusty water: If your hot water is rusty, there’s a chance your water heater’s interior is rusting, which means it is close to springing a leak. This is usually only an issue with hot water. You can prevent rust by adding aluminum, magnesium or zinc anode rods to your water heater. But in general, if you have water that looks dirty or muddy or has a strange, metallic sort of taste, this is a sign you’re going to need a new water heater very soon.
  • Your water isn’t heating properly: There are some common issues that can cause a lack of hot water, including a pilot light being out, that don’t necessarily mean your water heater needs to be replaced. But if you know your water heater is old and if you have gone through a variety of steps that would otherwise normally resolve the issue of a lack of hot water, then your appliance probably needs to be replaced.
  • Unusual noises: Throughout the life of a water heater, sediment slowly builds up in the bottom of the tank. When this sediment is heated, it slowly hardens, which uses up some of the capacity of your water heater and causes a waste of energy. This hardening sediment can also lead to strange noises and bangs, and is also associated with you running out of hot water sooner. If you hear banging or rumbling, the first step you should take is to look for leaks in your unit. But even if you don’t find leaks, the noises could be a sign that sediment buildup is getting out of hand.
  • Leaks: Small leaks in water heaters can quickly turn into major floods, which could lead to significant damage in your basement or utility room. You should have leaks addressed immediately by a skilled professional.

For more information about water heater replacement, contact a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN at Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc.

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