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Jul 21, 2022

Water heaters don’t usually give out without giving some telltale signs. Most times, the signs that a water heater is reaching the end of its useful service life come weeks before it actually fails. Unfortunately, many people ignore these signs and keep using them, hoping the issues will magically disappear. If you’re a homeowner, keep reading for the signs that it’s time for a water heater install.

Visible Corrosion on the Heater

Rust on the water heater’s exterior indicates corrosion. No exterior elements should cause rust or corrosion to the water heater’s exterior, especially under indoor conditions that aren’t very moist. In most cases, a water heater has an inner tank that stores the water and an external tank or shell that shields the inside to keep the water warm. The inner tank has likely been leaking for some time if it’s causing the tank exterior to rust, and the issue should not be disregarded. It’s advisable to replace it with a new water heater install to avoid a rupture in the tank.

Water Heater Noise

Any noise coming from the tank is another warning sign of a failing water heater. As the heater ages, the water’s rumbling sounds will get louder and louder. The issue may be worse in homes that use a lot of hot water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that consume 41 gallons or fewer of hot water each day require water heaters that are 24-34% more energy-efficient than standard storage-tank water heaters. Water heater noise is typically caused by sediment accumulation. Sediment accumulates at the bottom of a water heater tank as a result of the repeated heating and reheating of water. Along the tank floor, the sediment gradually becomes thicker and harder. Sediment accumulation can quickly degrade a water heater and cause issues with efficiency.

Water Heater Leaks

There is a greater likelihood that water may spill onto the floor near your water heater’s tank as it gets closer to the end of its useful life. Depending on where your water heater is installed in your home, a leak might cause serious property damage.

Expansions of the metal of the tank frequently cause water leaks. These expansions take place over time as the inner body of the tank is subjected to heating cycles. In other instances, overflowing pressure pipes or leaking fittings may be to blame. If there’s leakage in either of those places, there might be a problem with the fittings, in which case you should call a plumber to inspect the problem. If there are no leaks in the connections and fittings, the tank is almost certainly at fault. The former problem can be fixed with tightening and modifications, but tank leaks are irreparable. If water leaks directly from the tank, it’s time to replace your water heater.

Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

If your hot water tank is less than a decade old and the pilot light won’t remain lit, it might be due to a malfunctioning thermocouple. This mechanism regulates gas flow to the burner; if it fails, a plumber can test, repair, or replace it. Nevertheless, if your water heater is old and the pilot light is faulty, the casing surrounding it has probably corroded. This typically indicates more rust in the tank and that it’s time to replace the entire tank. Call a professional for your water heater install if this is the case.

Hot Water Isn't Always Hot

If the hot water in your shower is blistering hot one day and tepid the next, even though no one has used much hot water, this might signal a water heater problem. This is especially true if the pilot light on your gas water heater is lit. There’s a chance that something is wrong with the thermostat or that it was damaged or altered. If neither the thermostat nor the pilot light is to blame for cooler-than-normal hot water in a water heater, the tank may need to be replaced if it’s more than five years old.

The very chilly temperature might suggest sediment accumulation. If there is too much sediment, the inner tank may be broken. Thus, the old water heater should be replaced as soon as possible. An electric water heater’s problem might also be a faulty heating element. If the heating element is the problem, a plumber can repair it or assess if the entire water heater needs to be replaced.

If your water heater displays any of the above signs, it’s time to consider a new water heater install done by a professional. Then, you don’t have to worry about constant upkeep. Reach out to us at Goodson Plumbing Services to schedule an estimate.