You wake up in the morning, drink a nice cup of coffee, and hop in the shower, only to discover that the water is freezing cold even though it has been running for a few minutes. Cold water is incredibly unpleasant, but could also be alluding to problems with your water heater. Water temperature is just one of many symptoms an older water heater can display when it is ready to be replaced.
Of course, sometimes your water heater just needs a tune-up or maintenance work, but most often, it is cheaper to replace your water heater, rather than spending money on extensive repairs. If you’re unsure whether to replace or repair, a professional plumbing and heating expert will be able to answer that question for you!
In the meantime, here are 5 signs that you can look for yourself when deciding whether or not your water heater needs to be replaced!
If it is more than 10 years old
For most water heaters, the average life expectancy of a water heater is 8-12 years, but the expectancy varies according to the quality of the initial installation, the previous maintenance schedule, and the water quality. Generally, if your water heater is more than 10 years old, it is time to start checking for signs of aging, which include leaks around the base of the tank, erratic performance, or cold water. You can also ask a local plumbing and heating expert to do an inspection and evaluate the age.
If the water is cold
If the water takes a long time to heat up or is consistently cold, this is a sign that it is time for your water heater to be replaced.
If the water is not maintaining its heat
If you notice that the water temperature is not staying hot when you take a shower or run the sink, this could be another indicator. This should be a significant change from what your normal water temperature durability is—like if the water used to be able to keep warm for three people to take showers in a row, and now it is not hot enough to finish one shower.
If the water is tinted
Sometimes when water heaters need to be replaced, the water will have a tint to it, appearing brown and rusty. This is a sign that the tank in the water heater has gone bad, and you should call a plumbing and heating expert right away.
If there are puddles or leaks around the water heater
Inspect the water heater itself and look for any moisture that is seeping through to the outside. If you see water pooling up at the base of the tank, this means that there is a leak and it is time to be replaced. Leaks on water heaters are indicators that the exterior has gone bad, and it should be replaced rather than patched up.
These 5 signs are things that you can look for yourself to evaluate the stage of your water heater. Keep in mind that you do not need to see all 5 occurring at the same time—any one of these symptoms could reveal a damaged water heater. If you are not sure whether or not your water heater needs to be replaced, contact a trustworthy professional who knows the plumbing and heating industry. They will be able to answer your questions and confirm if you need a replacement or not.