Water Heater Acting Up? It May Be Time To Add a New One To the Holiday Wish List
Water heaters are often taken for granted, at least until something happens to them. It’s a rude awakening when the shower water goes cold, or the warm water in the washer suddenly comes out a little muddy and stains the clothes inside.
Many homeowners don’t know much about water heaters because they don’t need to. However, there are a few things that everyone should be aware of just in case the water heater starts to act strangely. Telling the difference between when a water heater needs repair and when it needs replacement can save homeowners time, money, and a massive headache.
Water Heater Age
Plumbers advise homeowners to determine the age of their water heater when something goes wrong. Most water heaters have a lifespan of around 10 years. When a decade rolls around and the unit starts to make strange sounds or have other issues, it’s generally time to forget about repairs and plan for a replacement. Repairing a water heater that’s older than ten is merely delaying the inevitable and probably costing the homeowner money in the long run.
Cracked and Leaking Storage Tank
The next sign that a water heater should be on this year’s holiday wish list is a cracked storage tank. However, this one isn’t always easy to figure out. Most water heaters have a glass storage tank inside, which isn’t visible through the outer shell. When sediment builds up inside the storage tank, the glass can crack, and water can start to leak out.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of places that water could potentially be leaking from. One indication that a leak is coming from a storage tank is if it’s not constant. If it’s a small crack, the water heater will only leak when the water is being heated because that causes the crack to expand. If it’s a constant leak, it’s probably not the storage tank. However, it’s always best to call a professional to find out for sure.
Rust-Colored Hot Water
Lastly is the color of the water. However, the water heater isn’t always the culprit when the water becomes discolored. Luckily, there’s an easy way to determine if the water heater is to blame. Homeowners should run only their hot water into a bucket, filling it with a gallon or two. Then, do the same with the cold water. If the hot water is rust-colored and the cold water isn’t, then the water heater is to blame. This happens as the result of corrosion and sediment buildup in the water heater.
Although it’s possible to flush the unit to remove the sediment, it may not be worth it if the unit is old. No matter the problem, it’s always good to consult a professional plumber when the water heater starts to act up.