If you purchased your home with a water heater already installed, you may not know how old it is. While it may seem that a water heater would last a long time, they have a relatively short lifespan. Traditional water heaters with a storage tank generally last 8-10 years and tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years. When you think about the fact that your water heater is working frequently, around the clock, it makes sense that it would wear out and require water heater replacement.
Sometimes, it is worth repairing a hot water heater, but often, it is a better investment to ask for water heater replacement. Here are some sure signs that water heater replacement may be the best thing for you:
- If you know that your water heater (with a storage tank) is over 10 years old or your tankless water heater is over 20 years old, it probably doesn't pay to repair it.
- If you have water around your water heater, there may be small leaks in the tank developing. These cannot be repaired and the tank must be replaced.
- If you start hearing strange, new noises from your water heater (usually rumbling and banging), you may have sediment in the tank that is causing your water heater to work harder, and it will probably fail soon.
- Rust-colored hot water is another sign that your water heater is near the end of its lifespan.
If you notice any of these signs, contact your plumber to discuss water heater replacement. Don't wait until you have a big mess from a leak on your hands or you wake up one morning with no hot water because your water heater failed entirely.