What Do I Need to Know About My Water Heater?
One of the most critical pieces of equipment in your home is your water heater. Living up to its name, this unit will help provide hot water the minute a faucet is turned on. However, while it seems as if a water heater is self-sufficient — meaning, it can run efficiently without any TLC here and there — guess again.
If you’re looking to keep your unit in tip-top shape for the years to come, or you feel that you may need to replace it soon (rather than later), here are a few things to keep in mind:
Your Water Heater Might Need Repair
Picture this: You’re about to wash your hands in the bathroom sink and turn the hot water faucet on. Giving the H2O some time to heat up, it appears that it’s still ice cold. If you find yourself in a similar situation, this can indicate that your current tank water heater may need to be repaired.
Some signs that also indicate that a water heater requires repair include, but are not limited to:
You run out of hot H2O quickly (or there’s no hot water at all, as mentioned before)
Your water is discolored
Making strange noises
The minute you see or hear any of these signs, it’s essential to call a professional plumber right away — as they’ll be able to safely get to the bottom of the problem and repair it in no time. However, there is always a possibility that your water heater may need to be replaced altogether — but what do those signs usually entail?
You May Need to Replace Your Water Heater
Unfortunately, there comes a time in every homeowner’s life where they must part ways with their current water heater. While it seems as if this unit will last a lifetime, that couldn’t be further from the truth. On average, and with proper maintenance, a tank water heater can last around ten years. However, there’s also a chance that when your water heater hits that age or is close to it, the unit can begin to diminish in quality.
Signs a Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced
Unfortunately, when you begin to see rust forming on the water tank — no matter how big the rust mark is — that can indicate that the tank is rusting from the inside out. As it turns out, this could be due to various reasons (such as age), but the most prominent one is that the anode rod within wasn’t replaced when needed.
Another common sign that your water heater will need to be replaced is when you notice that the tank is leaking. Sadly, this could indicate that the tank has rusted so badly that water is now penetrating through both layers and expelling outside the tank.
Has your water heater become best friends with your go-to plumber? If so, it may be time to consider upgrading your current model for a new, more efficient unit. While a repair can help keep your water heater afloat until the next problem occurs, all those repair visits may equal the total of a new unit.
Now, if you’re looking to part ways with your current water heater, you may want to consider ditching the tank altogether and opt-in for a tankless unit — here’s why:
The Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Unlike a tank-based water heater, a tankless unit saves space no matter where it’s installed. Traditional water heaters are big, bulky, and placed a few feet away from the wall. On the flip side, a tankless water heater is smaller, compact, and mounted to the wall. This is a huge perk for those that live in smaller homes and want to save as much space as possible!
As mentioned earlier, with proper maintenance, a tank-based water heater will last approximately ten years until it needs to be replaced. However, with a tankless water heater, the unit will last about 15 to 20 years — which is a huge perk. And unlike a tank-based unit, a tankless water heater requires very little maintenance!
Much More Efficient
Tank water heaters live up to their name: They heat water and store it in their “stomach” — and all that H2O is kept warm around the clock — which wastes energy. Now, this does not hold true for a tankless unit — it heats it on-demand when it’s requested. This not only saves water, but it also saves energy.