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Warm water is essential in every home. You need warm water to bathe, wash your hands, wash your dishes, or run a load of laundry. On average, one person will turn on the hot water in their home as much as 20 times a day. With this in mind, you don’t want to be caught without access to warm water which can happen if your water heater unexpectedly dies on you. The truth is however that most water heaters don’t mysteriously die, and there are signs that it is time for water heater replacement. You just have to know how to look for them.
Even the best hot water tanks will eventually die. Age, strain, and improper maintenance are all reasons why water heaters eventually die. Most water heaters will last about 10 to 12 years with properly maintained and serviced water heaters lasting a few extra years. Even regular service from a local plumber is not enough to make your water heater last forever, although it will offer you a professional opinion on when water heater replacement is necessary.
Looking to avoid a plumbing emergency in the coming years? Here are the top signs that it is time to consider a replacement of your water heater in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Your Water Heater Is Ancient
As mentioned earlier, the average water heater lasts for about 10-12 years. If your water heater is at this mark or even older, it is time to seriously consider water heater replacement. Chances are at this point your water heater will die and you will wake up to a cold shower. Replacing it is a good way to avoid this emergency and save you some money since you will have some time to shop around for its replacement. If your tank bursts or stops working suddenly you have to choose a new water heater in a very short timeframe.
Ideally, you want to replace your water heater before it shows signs of wear such as noises, leaks, or signs of rust. If you notice any of these things and your water tank is at least eight to 10 years old it is time to seriously consider water heater replacement. Keep in mind that it may not be logical at this point to make repairs on your older tank because you will be tossing money at a problem that is highly likely to reoccur due to the age of the appliance.
Not sure how old your water heater is? Look for the serial number located at the top of the tank. The number will not be easy to read and will probably look something like this “DO41069368.” In this example, the letter stands for the month of the year. So ‘D’ means the fourth month of the year or April. The numbers then tell you the year, ‘04. So in this example, your water heater was manufactured in April of 2004. That makes this a model that is over ten years old and it is very likely time for water heater replacement.
Signs of Rust
One of the biggest signs that it is time for water heater replacement is the presence of rust on your tank or anywhere else in your water system. Steel may be the strongest building material, but it is not immune to rust. Corrosion can happen on a steel surface just as easily as anywhere else, and once it starts to spread it will eat through the steel until eventually, you have a leak. Therefore, signs of rust are indicators that trouble is brewing and the smart move is replacement.
You can’t always see the rust however if it is inside of your hot water tank. In this instance, you may see the rust start to appear in your water. If you notice rusty water coming out of the hot water faucets in several locations there is a good chance that it’s time for water heater replacement. Keep in mind that rust can occur in any model water heater or any age. Therefore, don’t take any signs of rust lightly because the problem will only get worse and compromise your heating system.
You also want to keep an eye on the inlet valve as this is a commonplace for rust to form. If you see rust from around the pressure relief valve or inlet valve then it is likely that there is rust inside of the tank as well. Unfortunately, at this point, replacement is your only choice as there is no way to reverse the signs of aging. If you are unsure of whether or not the rust is coming out of your piping system or your hot water heater you can drain a few buckets of water out of your hot water tank and look for signs of rust. Alternatively, you can call a plumber and get a definitive answer which is often the best choice since they are trained to deal with this type of situation.
Leaks Start Popping Up
Due to rust and other signs of aging such as increased pressure on the tank, it is very common for leaks to start to crop up as your water heater ages. If it is getting to the point of no return you may see water on the floor around your tank. While one small leak may not bother you, it is important to realize that one small leak will almost always lead to a bigger leak and eventually an explosion. Skip the flood damage and instead view any leaks as a sign that it is probably time for water heater replacement.
If you need water heater replacement or just want a professional to inspect your water heater and give you a better idea of its condition, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, SC is here for you. Our experienced plumbers can easily inspect your water tank and offer you an expert opinion on whether a repair is worth it or complete replacement is your better option. Give us a call today and get ahead of a costly plumbing emergency.