Posting Date: April 18, 2018
Posted by: Chris Barbato, Sarasota, FL Branch Manager
Your water heater is one of those things you take for granted until it stops working – usually when you’re in the middle of a blissful, warm morning shower, or when you find yourself unexpectedly wading rather than walking in your basement on your way to the clothes dryer.
Yes, all things must pass – including your water heater. The question is, how will you know when your water heater is on its proverbial last legs?
Here are six telltale signs it’s likely you will soon be shopping for a new water heater:
- The nameplate says it’s time. The average conventional water heater (one with a tank) lasts about 10 years – a number that can go down significantly if it’s not properly maintained (a tankless water heater can last twice that long, since they don’t store corrosive water). Don’t know how old your water heater is? Here’s a trick: look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s nameplate. The first letter in the serial number corresponds to its month of production; the first two numbers its year of production. For example, in the serial number D082738598, “D”, the fourth letter in the alphabet, corresponds to April, the fourth month. The number “08” represents the year. The water heater was produced in April 2008 (which means it’s probably about time to replace it).
- There’s a drop off in water heating performance. If you’re running out of hot water more often – or notice that your bills are getting higher despite near-constant gas prices – your water heater is probably struggling to do its job.
- You find a leak (or leaks). Remember that the storage tank n your water heater probably holds at least 50 gallons of water. If you see a puddle of it under your tank, it could be a warning shot – turn off your water supply and call a plumber.
- You’re seeing rusty water. Rusty water in your tank means that it’s corroding from the inside out – a problem that could lead to a costly tank failure, perhaps sooner than later. To see if your hot water is rusty, fill three or four five-gallon buckets: if rust comes only from the hot water tap, you probably need a new water heater.
- You’re noticing more signs of hard water. White stains on your flatware and glassware are common signs of hard water (water that contains minerals); so are dry, itchy skin and dull, scratchy clothing. Hard water will eventually cause a buildup of lime in your tank, which can reduce efficiency and hasten your water heater’s demise.
- Your tank starts talking to you. If you hear rumbling or sizzling noises coming from your storage tank, don’t call Ghostbusters – call us. Sediment build-up in your tank is the likely culprit, and it’s a problem that, if not addressed, will eventually lead to costly water heater repairs or a premature replacement.
If the time has come to put your old water heater out to pasture, contact us today – we’ll help walk you through some of the things you’ll need to consider to pick the best water heater for your space, lifestyle, and budget.
Don’t wait for an unplanned indoor pool in your basement to replace your old water heater. Contact Broward today to learn about water heater options that meet your family’s needs and your budget!