It can be tough trying to determine if a water heater is in need of replacement, especially if it is still producing hot water. However, the day will come when it stops working and require an emergency replacement to get hot water flowing again. Here are some signs that you need to replace your home's water heater.
The easiest thing you can do is look at the age of the tank. Try to locate the metal plate on the hot water tank that has information on when the tank was manufactured. This can give you a great idea of how old the tank is. The average lifespan of a hot water heater is 8-12 years, so get ready to replace the appliance if it's beyond that range.
Does your hot water heater have large parts with rust on it? Rust is never a good thing when it comes to a hot water heater. Ignoring the problem means that the tank will eventually rust through, causing water to empty out onto your floor. There is also no way to repair rust, since the damage has already been done. Consider rust a problem that requires replacement.
Any time a hot water tank itself is leaking water is a major sign to replace it. Make sure that you examine the tank closely and confirm that it is from a hole in the tank. It is entirely possible that the leak is caused by a bad connection, which is much easier to fix than if you replaced the entire tank. Once you identify the source of the leak you can determine if tank replacement is necessary.
Does it sound like someone is knocking on your hot water heater throughout the day? This is a problem caused by sediment in the tank. All that sediment can cause the tank to have significant wear and tear, causing premature replacement of the appliance. You'll likely start experiencing problems with rust, a deteriorated anode rod, and a broken heating element if you continue to use the tank.
The Cold Water
Of course, a hot water heater that only produces cold water is not doing its job. If the tank is old, it may not be worth it to have the heating element fixed or replaced with a new one. Consider the other potential factors of water heater failure to determine if replacement is your best option.
Contact a service, like Roto Rooter, for more help.