Most water heaters usually last between 8 to 13 years, although others claim that a water heater may last as long as 15 years. Of course, a water heater’s life expectancy depends on factors such as maintenance, quality of installation, water quality, location of the water heater, and the design of the unit.
When you notice that your water heater no longer functions like how it should be, you have to decide whether to have it fixed or have it replaced for good. Of course, before determining if a repair or a replacement is needed, you must first consult with a professional plumber about your water heater issues. Moreover, you have to watch out for the following signs or indications:
- Water heater exceeding its life span – Regardless of the fact that your water heater still functions well, once it has lived more than 10 or 15 years, it will start to decline sooner or later. Hence, you have to consider replacing it with a new unit.
- Water heater undergoing too many repairs – Too many repairs will only cost you a lot of money. Having your water heater repaired more than twice in a year is not a good sign and is a clear indication that it is about high time to install a new one.
- Low hot water volume – Not getting enough hot water obviously tells you that your water heater is declining. When you start getting lukewarm instead of hot water, a replacement is your most viable option.
- Water discoloration – Due to age, the water heater tends to develop rust which causes water discoloration. When the water heater tank is rusting out, it is highly that the hot water which comes out of the water heater turns to have a reddish tint to it.
- Corrosion – The existence of corrosion on your water heater is no doubt an obvious sign that it is hopeless to repair your water heater. Corrosion comes as a result of the reaction of water minerals to steel. When this happens, leaks may appear. Since repair is already out of the question, your best option is to replace your water heater as soon as corrosion appears.
Regardless of whether to repair or replace your water heater, the best that you can do is to keep your unit in good condition. First, you must make sure that you execute proper maintenance of your unit by flushing the tank at least once every year to get rid of any dirt or sediment. If you apply these simple maintenance methods, not only will your water heater function better, you will also save money.
In addition, check the pressure relief valve and see if it snaps back and if water pressure remains strong; otherwise, installing a new valve is recommended.
Also, a water heater tank can be damaged by overheating. To avoid this, you must set the temperature of the thermostat to a lower degree.
The good thing about modern water heaters is that they are less prone to corrosion. This can be attributed to insulation wherein foam insulation is mounted between the water tank and its outer shell. Insulating the water heater system increases its retention to heat.
Lastly, whether you repair or install a new water heater, always get the assistance of trusted plumbers.