Water Heater Lifespan: How to Know When It’s Time for a Replacement

Water Heater Lifespan

The hot water knob on your faucet has been turned on for 20 seconds and yet, there’s no hot water to be had. This has been happening a lot lately. So, you’re starting to wonder: is your water heater nearing its end?

Well, the typical water heater lifespan is between 6 and 12 years. So, if your water heater has reached that age, there’s a decent chance that it’s about to give in for good.

To be sure, you should look for specific signs. Wondering what these are? Here’s how to know when it’s time for a water heater replacement.

Your Water Heater Is Making Rumbling Sounds

Over time, you might notice that your water heater is developing rumbling sounds. These will generally start out faint; you might even question whether or not you hear them at first. But eventually, they’ll become undeniable, at which point, you’ll need to take action.

Oftentimes, this can be fixed. It usually has to do with mineral buildup within the water heater. The more minerals that accumulate, the harder time the water heater has of serving its purpose efficiently. Rumbling presents itself as a result of the pressure produced.

You can typically fix the problem by simply draining the water tank and ridding it of all of its minerals. This is something that you might be able to accomplish on your own. If not, a pro plumber can do it for you.

Note, though, that after around 10 years or so, your water heater will rumble regardless of whether or not it’s filled with minerals. It’s at this point that it needs to be replaced entirely. Again, an experienced plumber can make the replacement.

There’s Rust in Your Water

An almost sure sign that your water heater needs replacement is that there’s rust in your water. How does a bad water heater lead to rust in your water? It has to do with the inside of the water heater’s tank corroding.

See, after years of consistent use, a water heater will corrode. That’s just the way it is. Once this corrosion begins, it affects the quality, consistency, and color of your water and won’t stop affecting it until your water heater is removed entirely.

Now, all of that being said, rust isn’t dangerous to consume. Therefore, while this problem should be dealt with sooner rather than later, it’s not something that you need emergency services for.

Set an appointment with a local plumber. They’ll come out with a new water heater, remove your existing one, and get everything back into working order again.

There’s Rust Around the Valves

On the outside of your water heater, you will find two valves. These include the inlet valve and the pressure relief valve. In their prime state, these two valves should be entirely free of rust.

If there is rust around these valves, there’s a fairly good chance that there’s also rust on the inside of the water heater itself. Again, this doesn’t mean that you need to replace your water heater immediately. However, you should put it on your agenda.

Within months, you’re bound to have brown and rusty water coming out of your faucets. You might want to make the change before that happens.

You’re Not Getting Any Hot Water

The whole purpose of a water heater is to heat water. Therefore, if you’re not getting hot water, you know something is amiss.

That said, this doesn’t necessarily signal the need for an immediate replacement. In some cases, water heater repair will suffice.

Let’s say that the cause of the cold water is a broken heating element within the water heater. In this case, you usually won’t have to replace the entire water heater. You’ll just need to replace the heating element itself.

Or, maybe the water heater’s thermostat got readjusted somehow? That’s a simple fix. Just reset it to between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, when it comes down to your water heater not being big enough for your home’s hot water needs, there’s really only one option: you have to replace your water heater entirely. Otherwise, you’re forever going to be coming up short on hot water.

Fortunately, you can almost certainly upgrade the size of your water heater. Need help doing so? You know who to call: your local plumber.

There’s Water Leaking from Your Water Heater

The surest sign that you need a water heater replacement is a leaking water heater. If there’s water leaking from your water heater, it’s likely because it’s been subjected to too many heating cycles. As a result, its tank is starting to expand to too great a degree.

This results in cracks forming in the water heater. And every time one of these cracks opens up, a little more water pours through it onto the ground below.

Simply put, once it’s gotten to this point, there’s nothing you can do to stop the problem. The only viable option is to replace the water heater in its entirety. Your plumber can assist you with the replacement.

Has Your Water Heater Lifespan Reached Its End?

Well, what do you think? Has your water heater lifespan reached its end? Need a water heater replacement in Columbia, SC? If so, look no further than Plumb Time Plumbing.

We’ve been serving the Columbia area for over 15 years and have helped countless families replace their water heaters along the way. Whether you need a water heater repair or are looking to replace your water heater, we have you covered.

Contact us now for a free quote!

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