Most people consider their water heaters maintenance-free appliances that require very little care and work. While this is mostly true, water heaters do have a lifespan, like virtually everything else you own. A typical water heater will last between 8 and 12 years. However, that does not mean that you need to get rid of the appliance once it hits the 10 or 12 year age mark. It does mean that you need to consider wear issues carefully, and you also should look out for signs that you are in need of a replacement. Keep reading to learn about some fairly telltale signs that it is best to get a new water heater.
Hot Water Is Rusty
Some rust in your water heater is normal, especially if the main water lines that run through your city are older ones made from steel. However, it is not normal for rust to constantly be coming out of your hot water faucets. This is a sign that a great deal of rust has formed in your water heater. The main reason for rust is the deterioration of the tank itself.
Water heaters are protected from rust in a few different ways. They contain a metal anode rod that deteriorates more quickly than the exposed metal inside the tank. The tank is also covered with a glass coating to keep most of the steel covered and protected from oxidation. However, the anode rod wears away, and so does the glass coating. This exposes more and more of the tank, and it then begins to deteriorate more quickly.
Once the water heater begins to rust a great deal, the oxidation flakes off into the water. The rust then comes out of the tap when you turn the warm or hot water on. If you notice this problem and see it consistently, then it is likely that the water heater is going to develop a hole soon. It is wise to replace the appliance before this happens.
Low Levels Of Hot Water
If the water heater used to produce a good volume of hot water, but not longer does, then this may be a sign that a replacement is needed. In some cases, this may mean that the thermostat has broken or that the anode has cracked or broken. While these pieces can be replaced by an experienced homeowner or a plumber, replacement may be a better option if the water heater is already older. In other words, it may not be worth it to replace the parts.
The thermostat may also be broken due to a leaking tank that has caused the thermostat or the wiring to become wet. This creates a dangerous situation. Total replacement should occur before someone accidentally electrocutes themselves.
Contact a company like Able Plumbing-Pumps & Well Service for additional advice.