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    4 Ways to Know If It’s Time to Replace a Water Heater

    November 1, 2018


    One of the most important appliances in your home is the water heater. It lets you take hot showers, cook, do laundry and many other things. So you want to make sure that it’s working correctly. Below are four tips that you can use to know when you need to replace your old water heater for a new one.

    Its Age

    You want to know how old the water heater is in your home. You can find its age by looking on the manufacturer’s sticker serial number. This number will be on your water heater’s upper portion.

    This serial number will a code that includes a date, and it looks something like “F051052638”.

    In this example, F stands for the month, which is the alphabet’s sixth letter. This means that it’s the 6th month which is June. The 05 in this example means 2005. So if your water heater’s number is F051052638, it means that it was built in June 2005. Each of the manufacturers has a date code that’s similar, and these codes often vary, so you want to check the website of the manufacturer to find out more.

    Generally, if your water heater is over ten years old, you should think about replacing it. If it’s in a spot where a leak isn’t going to cause damage, it’s possible to put it off until a leak develops before you replace it. However, this isn’t a good idea.

    If you have it in a spot that is going to cause damage in the home, it’s a good idea to replace it once its ten years old. It’s also a good idea to replace it before if you’re noticing any of the other problems below.

    Water That’s Rusty

    If you’re noticing rusty water that’s coming from the water heater, and this is only happening when you have your hot water turned on, this might mean that the water heater’s rusting away and you may have a leak happening.

    If your pipes are galvanized, this also could mean that your pipes are rusty. One way that you can test this and see if it’s the water heater or the pipes is to drain hot water into a 5-gallon bucket. Once you have gotten to your third bucket, look and see how the water looks. If it’s still looking rusty, chances are it isn’t your pipes that are the problem and you’ll need to replace your water heater.

    Rumbling & Noise

    There will be sediment build up on the bottom of the tank when the water heater gets older. As you keep heating and reheating this sediment, it’s going to harden eventually.
    When this occurs, the chances are that you’re going to hear banging or rumbling sounds that are coming from your heater when it’s heating up. This is a big sign that you’re going to have to replace it soon.

    When there’s hardened sediment, it means:

    • Less efficient – The heater is going to use additional electricity or gas for heating your water.
    • More damage – The additional time that’s spent heating your water is going to cause extra wear on your tank. This also can lead to additional brittle metal cracking and developing tiny holes.

    When you start hearing a rumbling coming from it, you want to look for any tiny leaks. If you’ve found one, the chances are that it needs replacing.

    Water Pooling Around Your Heater

    If you’re noticing moisture around the heater, there’s a chance that it’s leaking through a fracture or leak in your tank. As your metal tank is heating, it’s going to expand. When there are small holes, there could be water leaking out of your tank. After the metal’s cooled, your inner tank is going to stop leaking.

    But before you replace your unit, check and make sure there aren’t other kinds of leaks that are coming from the tank connections or fittings. You also want to make sure your pressure/temperature overflow pipe’s not leaking. If all of your fittings and connections are dry, this may mean your unit needs replacing.

    These are the four things that you want to look for to know when you need to replace a water heater. They will help you understand when the water heater is getting close to the end of its life and when you should replace it.

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