Your water heater is one of the workhorses of your home. Imagine turning on the shower and only cold water comes out – that's no one's idea of a fun time!
That’s why it’s important to know the signs that it’s time for a new water heater, so you’re not caught off guard with a frigid splash when you least expect it.
Here are some of the main things to look out for.
1. Your water heater is at least 10 years old. Water heaters don’t last forever – once they are a decade old, they’re usually on borrowed time. If yours is at least a decade old, or you can’t remember when it was last replaced, it’s time to start shopping for a new one.
2. You notice leaks around the water heater. If you see puddles of water, this is a big red flag that it's on its way out. In addition to this being a sign that you need a new heater, leaks can lead to expensive water damage and spell serious trouble for your home.
3. Your water heater is making strange noises. It’s not like a bowl of cereal – it shouldn’t be snapping, crackling, or popping. This could signal sediment buildup within the tank.
4. The water smells or tastes funky (or both.) If the water smells or tastes like metal, beware. It likely means that the heater’s tank is corroding. (However, it could also mean that you have hard water, which often tastes metallic, sulfuric, or sour.)
5. You notice rust in your sink. This could also be due to hard water. However, it could be yet another sign that the tank is corroded – which could have a negative impact upon your water quality and potentially cause leaks, too.
6. Your family uses a lot of hot water. If you’ve got a lot of people living under your roof, particularly people who take long, hot showers, your water heater is going to be getting a lot more use than one in a home where only one person lives. So, it may wear out more quickly.
7. Your water gets warm, but not hot. If your water feels tepid when it comes out of the faucet, but never quite heats up all the way, it’s probably time to replace the heater.
If you need to invest in a new water heater, and you don’t know where to start, we’ve put together some tips on how to choose one.
You might also want to consider a tankless water heater. Tankless, or on-demand water heaters, heat water directly without a storage tank, meaning they deliver a steady supply of hot water through your pipes and out of your faucets. They are estimated to be around 34% more efficient than a traditional water heater – though they are more expensive to install.
READ MORE: The Pros and Cons of Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heaters
If your water heater is showing signs of failure, don’t delay – give your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing a call today at 1-877-BEN-1776, or contact us online.