You might be pondering, how do you know when a hot water heater needs to be replaced and how long do hot water heaters last until? Having hot water is essential to living a normal life. Everything uses hot water like baths, showers, hand washing, cooking, dish-cleaning, and laundry. Most people use hot water about 20 times per day. If you calculate the total based on the number of family members per household, you can imagine that it is extremely important to know the water heater lifespan to prepare for potential disasters.
You will see big red flags that your heater isn’t working. It’s best to know in advance. So, how to tell if hot water heater is bad, you ask? It can be through a variety of reasons that we’ll discuss in this article. It can be due to the age of tank or usage strain. There are ways to prolong the water heater life expectancy through maintenance, but eventually, you will need to have it replaced, especially if you’ve lived in a place for at least eight years. So as a homeowner, you should know how long do water heaters last and when to replace water heater for your home.
1. Water Heater is Old
So you may be thinking, when should I replace my water heater, before it goes bad? During the course of residence, a homeowner is bound to face these water heater issues. But most people are unaware of this expiration date. This can lead to huge problems and risks such as a breakdown in components of an HVAC system.
How Long Do Water Heaters Last
Most water heaters last about eight to ten years, depending on the wear and tear. This can vary tremendously, though. To figure this out, you need to be aware of the various signs of damage it shows. But once it passes the expiration date, you should try to replace the water heater.
Symptoms of a Bad Water Pump
- Failure to heat water
- Rustling noise in the water or tank
Not every single water heater will last ten years because gas water heaters may only last six to eight years. If it’s gas-powered, you’ll likely need to replace the water heater.
To figure out the right age of your heater, you can just review the serial number that is located on the top of tankless water heaters. Here are a few examples of serial numbers:
The letters represent the month of the year. For example, D G and I represent the fourth, seventh, and ninth months in the year. Then the first two numbers represent the year that it has been made. So these heaters have been made in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
2. Heater Inlet or Rusty Water Valve
Rust can be the weakness of steel, which is usually the toughest material out there. Rust will cause corrosion, which will eat away at the surface. Rust is a sign that potential leaks may occur.
However, it is difficult to spot whether the rust is originating from the pipes leading to the faucet or the water heater. Rust needs to be solved immediately.
If you notice that there is rust that shows in the faucets, bathtub, or sink, then you likely have a rusty heater. Rusty water usually happens when you pass the inevitable expiration date of the heater.
Rusty Inlet or Valve
A rusty pressure relief valve or inlet means that you have rust in the tank. If this happens, you are required to replace the tank. You will not be able to salvage the damage.
If you see that the tap water is a bit rusty, then it’s likely due to the pipes. This can turn into a huge problem where you even notice the rust in your tubs and sinks.
To figure out if there is rust in the tank or pipes, you can drain buckets of hot water from the tank. If you still see a lot of rusty water, then you know this is a huge problem. From here, you definitely need to replace the water heater. This rusty water will lead to corrosion in the steel.
3. Noise from the Water Heater
If you hear sounds from your water heater, that is a huge red flag that something is wrong with the tank. There can be many causes to noise inside of the tank.
Build Up in Sediment
Sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank and heat the water. From there, an accumulation of build grows thick on the tank’s floor. Eventually, your tank can stop working due to the sediment. Usually, the damage it causes can be:
Inefficiency: Sediment will cause strain on your heater and will use up a lot more energy than normal
Severe Damage: The metal will become fragile due to the length of time under heat and can even cause cracks.
Noise from your tank is usually a telltale sign that the tank will leak. But you can stop that by doing one thing.
Flush the Heater
If you try to flush them, you can solve some of the issues of noise. You should be flushing your heater tank every year. By flushing your tank, you eliminate the sediment in your tank so that your water heater can operate more efficiently. If you flush your tank annually, you should be able to use your water heater for the entire ten years. However, you should call a plumber to do the flushing for you.
If you still hear noises after the flushing has been done, you probably have a more serious problem at hand. This is because most working water heaters don’t make any noise. This noise can mean it’s on the verge of cracking. Therefore you need to replace your heater as soon as you can. If you follow the steps here, you should know exactly when it’s time to replace your heater or how to repair it before it becomes irreplaceable.