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Is Your Water Heater Crying For Help?

July 17, 2017



Many of us require immediate access to hot water every day in our homes.  We rely heavily on our water heaters to heat up every shower, soak every sink of dishes, and wash countless loads of clothing.  Generally, we go about our days without thinking twice about the functionality of our water heaters.  However, even the best water heaters break down over time, so it is important to keep an eye on your water heater to prevent a complete shutdown.  Replacing a worn-down unit will prevent a total loss of hot water in your home this coming winter. 


It can be tricky to predict exactly how long your water heater will last, but look for these signs to know when your water heater is coming to the end of its life.


Double Digits

More things are likely to go wrong with a water heater after many years of service in your home.  Whether individual parts begin to wear out, corrosion occurs, or cracks plague your tank, something is bound to go wrong over the years.  For the most part, you can expect your water heater to last around 10 years.


Remembering the age of your water heater is key to timely replacement.  If you forgot when your current water heater was installed, or if you moved into a home with an existing water heater, find the serial number label on the water heater.  This label includes the month and year when the water heater was manufactured.  Manufacturers usually display this information in the form of an alphanumeric code.  Check the manufacturer’s website for tips on how to decipher your code to find out the age of your water heater.


Not-So-Hot Water

Most of the time, you won’t realize that something is wrong with your water heater until you can feel a difference in your water.  The shower may feel less warm than usual, or the warmth may not last as long as you would like it to last.  While this can be caused by a failed heating element, it could also be caused by mineral sediment that collects and hardens on the bottom of the tank.  In any case, a professional plumber can help you sort through this issue.


Rust Colored Water

There is a rod inside your water heater called the anode rod that keeps your water heater tank in top condition.  The anode rod protects your tank by attracting the corrosive elements inside your water.  Without the anode rod, those corrosive elements will attack your water tank and the rest of your water system.  This rod is constantly rusting away, so naturally it needs to be replaced every now and then.  If the rod is used up, you may experience rust colored water running from your faucets throughout your home.


Sprung A Leak

One of the most obvious signs that your water heater needs to be replaced is when you notice a leak on or near it.  Leaks can be caused by a flurry of annoyances, including rust, damage, manufacturing errors, and more.  Be proactive by regularly checking your water heater for any dripping or moisture, which could indicate a leak.


Banging and Clanking Noises

Finally, listen for any noises coming from the water heater whenever it is heating a tank of water.  The sediment we talked about earlier can harden at the bottom of the water heater, which causes your water heater to work much harder to heat your water.  This increased workload leads to quick expansion of the water tank, resulting in loud noises and potential damage. 


If you are experiencing any of the above issues and need some help for your next steps to take, contact Jolly Plumbing.  Our experts are ready to help!

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