Is it time for a new hot water heater in your home?
Hot Water Heater 101
Though pretty self-explanatory, let’s do a quick review of what a hot water heater is, and how it works. The water coming into your home travels through system of pipes and is usually pretty cold. To take a hot shower or bath, use your dishwasher or washing machine, you need heated water.
Most of us are familiar with water heater fixtures in the home. Often big metal cylinders or tall drums that are often commissioned to a laundry room or basement. There are newer styles which have some interesting features, like losing the tank completely in favor of water-on-demand, but the standard reliable “drum” type water heater is the most common design in the U.S. and operates in a pretty straight forward manner. The large drum is filled with water and equipped with a heating mechanism on the bottom or inside. The simple design utilizes the “heat rising” principle to deliver hot water directly to your faucet with minimal fuss.
So, When is It Time for a New Water Heater?
Most hot water heaters last between 10 and 15 years before they need to be replaced. Over time, internal parts can get corroded or encased in a buildup of minerals which will affect the water heater’s efficiency and it will slowly begin to decline. There are a few telltale signs that will let you know it’s time to replace your hot water heater before it fails completely.
1. No hot water. There’s nothing worse than taking a shower and all of a sudden the hot water runs out. However, before rushing to call your plumber, check a few things to make sure the water heater is the actual cause of the problem. No hot water can certainly be a sign that the hot water heater has failed, but it could also mean the pilot light is out or the circuit breaker tripped.
2. Rusty water. Keep an eye on the water that comes out of your faucet, if it looks rusty, this could be a sign of upcoming water heater failure.
3. Metallic Tasting Water. The smell or taste of the water coming out of your tap could indicate that the hot water heater is close to breaking down.
4. Loud Noises and Sounds. Be aware of the noises your hot water heater makes. Of course as the water heats up there will be some normal sounds, but loud cracks and pops can indicate a concerning interaction between the heating elements inside the water heater and the scale and mineral deposits that have potentially built up over time.
5. Leaking Water! Water leaking near your hot water can be a strong indication of an internal failure in the unit. Immediate action is required if you see leaking water around the hot water heater – especially if you’ve never seen it there before. Call your local plumber immediately to come out and properly assess the situation. Take safety precautions by turning off the gas or disconnecting the electricity to the hot water heater.
TIP: A regular flushing can extend the life of your hot water heater.
North County Plumbing has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!
Contact: 1330 N. Melrose Drive, Suite C, Vista, CA 92083 | (760) 735-4900 | (858) 484-4600