How to tell if your water heater lifespan is near end

Lifestyle | 7 Feb |

There’s nothing quite as bad as waking up to find out that you’re forced to take an ice-cold shower because your water heater isn’t working.

While there can be many reasons for this awful occurrence, it could be due to your water heater lifespan expiring.

How do you know when your hot water heater has reached the end of its life? Read on to find out which signs to be on the lookout for so you can be prepared.

You See Signs of Rust

There’s going to be times where rust will appear, namely because the water heater is dealing directly with water and metal. Rusty tap water might be related to metal plumbing that produces rusty water over time.

However, if you drain a few buckets’ worths of hot water from the tank and you’re still seeing rust, it could be an issue with the water heater lifespan. When water continues to come out rusty brown, there may be a tank-related issue rather than a plumbing problem.

Look for rusty water if your water heater is older since it’s a possible indication that your tank is on its last leg. If you don’t replace the tank in time, the rust could wear through the metal and cause a serious leak.

Examine the water inlet or the pressure relief valve on your water heater and look for signs of rusting there, too. If you see rust, it’s time to replace your tank as soon as possible.

Strange Noises and Your Water Heater Lifespan

If you’re hearing strange noises coming from the tank, you could be in for some trouble. As your water heater ages, you may start to notice noises getting louder whenever it heats up the water.

For large households that use a great deal of water, this will likely be even more noticeable once the issue starts to occur. Any noise you hear from your water heater can be due to a few different problems.

Sediment starts to build on the bottom of your tank every time it needs to heat and then reheat the water inside. This sediment can start to thicken up and get hard which can wear your tank down rather quickly.

Once your water heater has sediment buildup, it will run a lot less efficiently. The tank may end up using more energy just to be able to keep up with the demand. Once your water heater needs to work harder, it can accelerate wear and tear, resulting in a damaged unit that could potentially leak or become cracked.

If you’re hearing a noise and suspect it’s a problem with sediment, try to flush the tank at least every six months whenever possible. This will drain the excess sediment from your tank and allow it to work more optimally. You can read more about when it might be time to call for professional help.

Ideally, your water heater should not produce any noise or rumble. Occasional flushing of the tank should extend the life of your water heater and prevent unnecessary damage.

Leaks: A Real Red Flag

You can already guess that leaking is an indication of the end of your water heater lifespan. Keep an eye out for any water pooling on the floor around your tank, which usually means there’s a serious problem.

If you don’t address a leaking water heater right away, it can lead to some serious property damage and a lot of headaches later. The most common cause of leaking is due to the metal in your tank expanding. Over time, the inside of your tank is exposed to heating cycles that can cause the metal to expand and contract, eventually resulting in damage.

Another reason your hot water heater could be leaking is due to a loose connection or fitting. The temperature or pressure overflow pipe may also have an issue that needs to be addressed.

Check your entire water heater for signs of water or leakage, and make sure that all fittings are tight and fully intact. You should contact a professional plumber right away if you notice leaking so they can determine the best route to fix the issue.

A tank that is leaking will likely need to be completely replaced, while an issue with the fittings may only require a simple repair. Never ignore a leaking tank, as this can cause all kinds of damage to your belongings and your home.

It’s normal for a tiny amount of water to come from a water heater, but major leaking indicates that there’s a much more serious problem. Never leave leaks to chance, as you could end up paying for a lot more than just repair to your water heater. When in doubt, contact a plumber and ask them to perform a water heater inspection to find out the root cause of the issue.

Take Care of Your Water Heater

With proper maintenance and a little bit of care, your water heater lifespan should last for many years. Pay close attention to your water quality and look for signs of rust to make sure it’s still in good condition.

If you hear a strange noise or see any leaks coming from your water heater, it’s time to contact a plumber for advice and possible repairs.

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