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What Are Signs That You Need To Replace Your Water Heater?

What Are Signs That You Need To Replace Your Water Heater?

Like every major appliance, your home’s water heater will eventually deteriorate and will eventually need to be replaced. When it comes to a water heater, replacing the unit before it fails is crucial, not only to your personal comfort but, in some cases, your property and your safety may be placed in harm’s way due to a malfunctioning water heater.

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect a standard water heater to last roughly a decade or so before needing a full water heater replacement. That being said, several factors can significantly shorten or extend your appliance’s life. Regular maintenance and the use of a water softener can help to increase the lifespan of your unit, while hard water, damp climates, and extreme temperatures may have you calling in the professionals far sooner.

In this post, we will help you identify the early warning signs of a failing water heater so you can have plenty of time to plan for a new water heater installation. If you need help with a water heater replacement in Asheville, contact Four Seasons Plumbing today!

1. Appliance Age

The #1 sign that it is time for a water heater replacement may just be the age of your unit. While you can extend the lifespan of your water heater through regular maintenance, it is best to start budgeting for a new water heater installation when your water heater is nearing ten years old. It is important to note that this lifespan is a rough estimate, and your unit may age more quickly if it is located in a damp environment or an area where temperature extremes are common. Additionally, water that is high in mineral content may accelerate the corrosion process causing your water heater to age much faster.

2. Leaking/Seeping

Pooling water or a damp floor surrounding the water heater is usually the first sign that it is time to consider a water heater replacement. During the regular course of use, the metal tank of the water heater is continuously exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. The metal naturally responds by expanding and contracting accordingly. As the water heater ages, these repeated contractions can weaken the metal leading to cracking and a potential rupture. If you notice water seeping or leaking from your water heater, spot damp areas, or pooling on the surrounding floor, it is imperative that you contact a professional plumber immediately. Small leaks can quickly turn into dangerous and destructive ruptures if not resolved in a timely fashion.

3. Changes In Water Appearance

As your aging water heater begins to degrade, bits of the metal inside the tank may begin to seep into the water. If you are seeing or smelling rusty water coming from your home’s faucets, it is likely time to replace your water heater.

4. Fluctuating Water Temperature

As your water heater ages, supply lines may become partially clogged, reducing the unit’s ability to supply a steady stream of water. This can lead to extreme temperature fluctuations during use. You may experience this as a sudden burst of cold water in the middle of a hot shower or hot water that fluctuates between piping hot and ice cold while running.

5. Visible Rust

The metal tank and metal connections of your aging water heater will begin to corrode naturally over time. The resulting rust may first appear on the outside of the tank or around the connectors that secure the inlet and outlet piping to your water heater. If corrosion occurs inside the tank, you may see flakes of rust or rust-colored water appearing in your sinks or tubs or flowing from your home faucets. Any signs of visible rust should be taken as an indicator that it is time for a water heater replacement.

6. Rising Utility Bills

An aging water heater will become less effective over time. As the unit begins to struggle to perform its tasks efficiently, it will generally require more energy to heat the water consistently. The water heater may cycle into heating phases more often, leading to a substantial rise in energy bills. Additionally, a water heater that has begun to deteriorate and corrode may lead to an accumulation of debris inside the pipes leading to and from the unit. This reduced water flow may result in increased water use leading to higher water utility bills as well. If you have seen a recent, unexplained rise in your water or energy utility costs it may be time to call out the professionals for a water heater replacement.

Know When It Is Time To Call In The Professionals

A new water heater installation is an investment that many attempts to delay as long as possible. While this is undoubtedly understandable, it is essential to remember that an aging water heater is not just an inconvenience. A deteriorated water heater tank or corroded connections can lead to sudden leaks or rupture. These events can cause significant damage to surrounding structures or items stored near the unit, and hot water can pose a risk of serious injury if the rupture occurs while someone is in the vicinity of the unit.

If your home is equipped with an older water heater that is nearing the end of its life expectancy, keep a watchful eye out for the telltale signs that your appliance is beginning to fail. If you begin to notice any of the symptoms discussed in this post, do not hesitate to reach out to Four Seasons Plumbing for a professional consultation. Our team of friendly plumbing experts will be happy to evaluate your current appliance and schedule a new water heater installation immediately.

There is no need to suffer through a single cold shower or risk a dangerous and destructive water heater failure. Call Four Seasons Plumbing to schedule a water heater replacement today. We are never more than a phone call or email away! Contact us today!

Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing


Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.