Hot running water is one of the best things about modern plumbing. In the old days you would have had to fetch a pail of water from a well or stream, carry it home, and heat it up over an open flame. Now, all you have to do is turn on the faucet, and voila! Hot water may be one of the most under appreciated aspects of modern plumbing. Many people don’t give it much thought, that is until they run out of hot water while in the middle of washing their hair! Water heaters work hard at heating and maintaining the water temperature. After years on faithful service, eventually wear and tear will take its toll. Here are 5 signs your water heating is about to quit.
Do you know how old your water is? The older your water heater, the closer it is to retirement. Not knowing how old your water heater is, could be an indicator that your water heater is about to quit. Most tank storage water heaters only last 10-12 years. The better you maintain your water heater, the longer it will last. However, regular maintenance only puts off the inevitable, and eventually it will need to be replaced. Every water heater has is manufactured date stamped on its serial number. If you are unsure how old your water is, you should check its serial number.
One of the most tell tale signs your water heater is about to quit, is the lack of hot water. The lack of hot water is most often caused by too much sediment buildup. Sediment collects over time and can form a barrier between the heat source and the water. This makes it harder for your water heater to heat the water, resulting in not enough hot water. To combat sediment buildup, every water heater should be drained and flushed at least once a year, more if you live in an area with hard water. It is important to keep in mind, that tank storage water heaters typically last 10-12 years, and eventually will need to be replaced.
In addition to the lack of hot water, another sign your water heater is about to quit, is it fails to produce hot water. If your water isn’t hot enough, it could be caused by several things including faulty thermostat or broken heating mechanism. These things are usually repairable, depending on the age of your water heater. Keep in mind, that the older your water is, the more likely it is time to replace it. Another reason, your water heating isn’t producing water that is hot enough, is the the size of the tank isn’t large enough to keep up with the size of your household. In this case, a larger tank will need to be installed. If you are using a tankless water heater, more than one may need to be installed to keep up with demand.
If your water heater makes loud banging sounds when engaged, it is probably close to the end. Sediment buildup can form large masses inside the tank, which is why it is so important to regularly flush and drain the tank. These large sediment masses can start to bang around inside of the tank, which can cause damage and leaks.
If your water heater is leaking, it is time to replace it. Over the years, sediment can cause corrosion on the tank and eventually the integrity of the tank gets damaged. When this happens it is more likely to spring a leak. If you notice any unexplained puddles of water around the tank, there is a good chance that it is time to replace it. Regular maintenance for your water heater is the best way to keep it running effectively, efficiently, and increase its longevity. Both tank storage and tankless water heaters require regular maintenance.