Tip: Don’t Wait for a Water Heater Failure to Force an Emergency Replacement
The comfort and convenience of hot water on demand is something we may take for granted... Until that morning when the faucet or shower runs ice cold, and the feeling of panic sets in when the cold water keeps flowing but doesn’t warm up. In my case, yesterday coming home to a flooded garage. With our water heater over 10 years old and noticeable rumbling the last several months I should have had it checked out before the mess. As me and my wife scramble to remove stuff from our garage with many things water damaged, it might be time to rent a roll-off dumpster. Don't be like Dave... follow these warning signs.
To avoid the increased cost (and stress and schedule disruption) associated with an emergency water heater replacement, keep these tips in mind to know when to replace your existing water heater before there’s ice cold trouble:
Consider the Average Life Span of a Water Heater. Although tankless water heaters are estimated to last about 20 years, the majority of American households have water heaters with tanks, and they are estimated to last between 8 to 12 years. If your water heater is 10 years old or more, it’s probably time to shop for a competitive price on the unit and installation.
Consider the Maintenance History of Your Water Heater. If it has been serviced and maintained, there’s less likelihood of surprises than if it has been sitting and operating for years on end without any attention.
Assess Your Water Heater for Evidence of Wear.
a. Noises. Rumbling and knocking noises can indicate a buildup of sediment in your hot water tank that is keeping it from operating correctly.
b. Leaks. Do not procrastinate; call a repair specialist or order a replacement immediately.
c. Water that is not hot and clear. Sediment in the tank can turn your water into a cloudy or even rusty stream. And of course, if the heating element is not longer working, cold water is the most obvious symptom of all.
Next time you purchase a water heater, be sure to ask about service plans and warranties, and keep that documentation sealed in a waterproof container near or attached to your water heater so it’s readily available in case of emergencies. It may also be advisable to scan copies of your paperwork to keep electronically in case of a severe emergency as well.
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