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How to Tell Your Water Heater Is Ready for a Replacement

water-heater-tankIt would be wonderful if water heaters lasted forever. “The last water heater you’ll ever need to buy!” But such water heaters don’t exist, nor will they. 

We’re experts when it comes to water heaters, and if you need repairs for one, you can call us for 24-hour plumbing in Libertyville, IL. Repairs might not be the best plan, however, and we’re going to look over signs that your current water heater is ready to go to the recycling yard. A new water heater is often a far better choice than trying to continue with a slowly failing one that racks up big bills for poor performance.

Water heater age

The average service life of a storage-tank water heater (the conventional kind that uses a tank to store hot water) is around 12 years. Tankless systems can last for 20 years, which is one of their best benefits. When your water heater is at or above its service life estimate, it’s time to consider a replacement. When you call technicians for regular water heater maintenance, ask for an opinion on whether the unit is worth keeping for several more years.

Low hot water volume

This is one of the biggest indicators of a water heater that’s coming to the end of its lifespan. You still get hot water from your taps, but the hot water is running out earlier than before. If people in your household are now racing to get to the showers first before the water goes cold, that’s a big flashing warning that the water heater is losing capacity and probably on the way out.

Rusty discoloration and black specks in the water

When you turn on hot water taps in the house, do you see a reddish discoloration or specks of black? Check to see that this isn’t happening in the cold water taps. If it is restricted to hot water, this can mean the tank of the water heater has rusted through—and the water heater needs a replacement ASAP.

Outward signs of corrosion

A corroding water heater is on borrowed time. Water heaters are designed to resist corrosion for most of their service lives, but at a certain point it will start to take hold. Corrosion on connectors and the heat exchanger may be repairable, but if corrosion appears on the tank or the outside of the tankless water heater, it almost certainly means the unit is past fixing.

Extensive leaks

Any leaks coming from a water heater require rapid repairs—don’t ignore them just because they “seem” small. These leaks can indicate high water pressure. If there are extensive leaks, it usually means the water heater has seriously decayed; schedule a replacement as soon as possible.

Soaring heating costs

The water heater consumes more power than almost any appliance in your house. If you see soaring heating costs during a time when the furnace or other heating system isn’t running, it’s almost certainly the water heater starting to fail.

Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. serves the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland. Contact us for great water heater service. 

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