The average lifespan of a gas water heater is usually between 8 and 12 years, while an electric water heater can last from 10 to 15 years. It’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs that your water heater is approaching the end of its useful life. This will help you plan and budget for a replacement in advance, instead of being caught off guard and left with cold showers. Be aware of the signals that suggest it’s time to call a plumber.
Inconsistent or Inadequate Water Temperatures
Your water heater has one main function: to keep the water in your home hot. If it is no longer able to do this properly, it is important to call a plumber. In the early stages of deterioration, your water heater may provide an inconsistent supply of hot water. Some days, you may be able to enjoy a hot and steamy shower, while on other days, you may have a lackluster experience. As the problem worsens, you may notice that the water temperature fluctuates unpleasantly from hot to cold within the same shower. This is a frustrating experience that no one wants to deal with.
If your water heater stops functioning, you might not have access to hot water. To prevent this problem, it is advisable to seek professional assistance immediately. However, inconsistent temperatures or lukewarm water do not always indicate that your water heater is failing. In certain cases, all that is required is a minor repair, such as replacing the heating element, that can keep the hot water flowing for many years.
It is important to ensure that the water coming out of your faucet is clean and clear at all times. In the event that your water appears to be murky or discolored, it is recommended that you contact a plumber immediately and avoid using your taps until a professional diagnosis is made. One of the common causes of discolored water is the presence of sediment or rust in your water heater, especially if the water appears discolored at every faucet. However, if only one faucet produces discolored water, then there may be a problem with a single section of your pipes that requires attention.
If you notice sediment buildup in your water heater tank, you can try cleaning it out to extend the lifespan of your appliance. However, rust is a more serious issue that requires prompt attention. Allowing rust to persist in your water heater can lead to corrosion of the pipes in your home, which can create far more serious and expensive problems down the line.
Strange Noises From the Water Heater Tank
Your water heater is supposed to operate quietly, but with age, sediment can accumulate in the tank, settling on the bottom layer, thus causing problems. As the water heats up, steam is created, which gets trapped beneath the sediment and has to struggle its way through the mineral deposits to escape. This process often results in a popping or banging noise that can be quite disturbing.
To prevent sediment buildup, it’s important to regularly flush your water heater. Flushing your water heater every six months is an essential part of its maintenance for optimum performance. If you have hard water with a high mineral content, consider installing a water softener and reverse osmosis system to keep your water clean and clear.
Low Water Pressure
If you happen to observe reduced water pressure from your hot water faucets, it could be due to sediment accumulation in your hot water tank. However, if you are experiencing decreased flow from both hot and cold taps, then it is likely that you have a different issue. Low water pressure throughout your residence can be caused by obstructed or corroded pipes, a blocked water meter valve, or a damaged pipe.
If you have low water pressure throughout your house, contact your water company to see if there’s a problem with the main supply. If the water company doesn’t detect an issue, call a plumber to diagnose the problem.
Puddles Around the Water Heater
Finding puddles of water around your water heater can be a cause for concern. It’s important to diagnose the issue immediately to prevent a more serious leak and potential water damage. If you haven’t maintained routine maintenance, the water could be coming from a loose valve or connection. However, if water is leaking out from around the base of the tank, this often indicates severe damage that may require a full system replacement.
Increase in Energy Bills
It is important to regularly monitor your utility bills to identify any unusual increase in expenses. A sudden surge in your electricity bill could indicate that one of your major appliances is consuming more energy than usual. You may want to investigate if your water heater is faulty, or if there is an issue with your furnace, air conditioner, washer, dryer, or any other household appliance.
Resolving a high utility bill may take detective work, but it’s always worth it to ensure you’re only paying what you owe.
If you’ve noticed an unexpected rise in your water bill, it is likely that there is a leak somewhere in your home. To begin investigating, check the base of your water heater to see if there is any water around it. Even if the area appears dry, it’s important not to ignore the issue, as the leak could be located elsewhere in your home, either inside or underneath it.
More Frequent Repairs & Maintenance
As your water heater gets older, it may require increasingly frequent repairs. If you find yourself calling a plumber more than once a year, it may be time to consider replacing it with a new unit. Eventually, every appliance reaches a point where it becomes more expensive to repair and maintain than to replace. Keep in mind that a new water heater will not only provide improved performance but also better energy efficiency. Although there may be some upfront costs, the long-term energy savings will offset them over time.
Diagnose Your Water Heater Issues
If you suspect that your water heater is faulty, contact Zest Plumbing and Drain for professional repair or replacement solutions.