Ideally, your water heater won’t give you any trouble whatsoever from the day that it’s installed until the day that you need to consider replacing the system. However, most people aren’t that fortunate, as incidents are going to happen over time with different machines that keep our homes operating the way they should. Eventually, you’re going to need to consider water heater replacement, and it won’t always happen at a time that it’s convenient for you.
That’s why it’s so important to pay close attention to your water heater at your Conway, SC home so that you know what to look for from it. If you’re having any of these problems with your water heater, you’re likely going to need to look at whether repairing or replacing your water heater makes the most sense for your needs. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind!
Your Heating Bill Has Risen Without Getting Hot Water
Most traditional water heaters operate using electric heat, and the tank must always be kept hot in order to ensure that you have hot water in your home at all times. That means your water heater is always using your heat in some capacity, so you’ll never have a heating bill of zero. But if you’re not getting hot water in your home, you shouldn’t be seeing rises in your heating bill.
When you check to see if you need to consider water heater replacement, be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. Winter in South Carolina means a rise in heating bills, so there’s nothing unusual about your heating costs rising from August to December. But if this December’s bill is higher than last December’s and there’s no easy explanation (such as visiting family for the holidays the year before), you’re probably going to need to consider either a repair or a full water heater replacement.
Your Water Shows a Rust Color
Modern plumbing systems are highly unlikely to use pipes that can rust. Neither copper nor PVC rusts over time, so if you’re seeing rust colors, such as red, orange or brown in your water, there’s a problem somewhere in the plumbing system. The most common culprit will be your water heater, as the metal inside the tank can corrode over time and lead to sediment and rust deposits discoloring your water. Obviously, that’s something that no homeowner wants to see.
The good news is that not only is rust-colored water still safe to use, but there’s an easy test for it to see if you need to consider replacement. All you have to do is run cold water for a few minutes at your Conway, SC home. If that water comes out rust-colored as well, then you’ve got a problem elsewhere in the system, especially if you have older pipes that need to be replaced.
But if your cold water is clean and clear, the issue is with the hot water. Any issue that only applies to the hot water in your home has to stem from the water heater, and if corrosion is causing problems, water heater replacement is your best solution.
You’ve Made Multiple Repairs Recently
Your water heater isn’t supposed to need lots of repairs over a short period of time. A water heater is more like a referee: you only notice them if something isn’t going the way it should. So if you’ve had to repeatedly fix problems with your water heater, continued repairs aren’t likely to make things any better. Instead, you need to consider water heater replacement as soon as possible.
Repairing an old water heater can be a reasonable solution if your budget doesn’t allow for a full water heater replacement just yet and you need to get hot water in your home right away. But once you make a repair on a system, you really should start planning for full water heater replacement in your eastern South Carolina home as soon as possible. After you’ve made a couple fixes on a water heater, it’s probably already living on borrowed time. A water heater that isn’t working properly after multiple fixes is only going to head in the wrong direction, so be sure not to waste any time in planning.
Your Water Heater Is at the End of Its Lifespan
Regardless of whether you have a traditional water heater or a tankless water heater, you’re going to need to replace it eventually. The best time to start planning for its replacement is a year or two before you think you’re going to need it. If you’ve got a traditional water heater, you can expect it to last between eight and 12 years, so year seven is around when you should start budgeting for a new one. A tankless water heater should last 20 years with proper care and maintenance.
Why should you plan to replace your water heater a year or two early? The closer your water heater gets to the end of its lifespan, the more likely it is that you’ll need to make a repair to keep hot water flowing in your house. There’s little point in spending good money on a water heater repair when you’re going to have to undergo a water heater replacement anyway within the next year or two.
If you do, you’ll have to pay twice to fix the same problem, so it’s much more cost-effective to simply pay once for a new system that won’t cause problems. The easiest way to do that is to budget in advance once your system reaches an advanced age and replace the system at the first sign of an issue.
At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, we know exactly how to properly replace a water heater and make sure that hot water gets to where it needs to be in your Conway, SC home. If you’re considering full water heater replacement, contact our team to ensure a punctual and professional installation!