6 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Old Water Heater

Water Heater Leak

Your water heater is an essential part of your home. Having warm water is necessary for personal hygiene, washing dishes, doing laundry, and so much more. But what happens when things start going downhill? A water heater is a hefty expense. A majority of American families can’t just put a water heater on their tabs and call it a day. It’s crucial to know the signs of a failing appliance so that you can better prepare and plan for the cost. So, how do you know when a  hot water heater needs to be replaced? If you’re dealing with an older water tank, keep an eye out for these critical signs that may indicate you need to replace your water heater.

Common Indicators of a Failing Water Heater

Low Supply of Warm & Hot Water

One of the most obvious signs you may need a new water heater is the temperature of the water in your home. If you’re not receiving hot water in the shower, this is usually your first indication of trouble. Once a hot water heater reaches the end of its life cycle, a collection of calcium and magnesium will start to form at the base of the water tank. Since the excess sediment occupies space in the water tank, the water heater will be unable to produce a sufficient amount of hot water for your house. 

Deteriorated Anode Rod

A hot water heater is equipped with an anode rod that is engineered to remove contaminants in water that cause deterioration in the hot water tank. If your kitchen or bathroom sink is delivering brown water, this is a sign of disintegrating anode rod in your hot water heater. Perform an inspection of your hot water heater to confirm if you need to replace the rod. If you do not see rust and dirt on the anode rod, this is a sign of corrosion in the hot water tank. The only way to fix a deteriorating water tank is to replace your hot water heater.

Water Heater

Loud Cracking & Popping Sounds

Loud, popping noises coming from your water heater is not only annoying; it’s dangerous. It’s normal to hear humming sounds as water heats,. On the other hand, noticable cracking and popping noises are an indicator a buildup of minerals on the heating elements of the appliance. If these noises continue after flushing the system, this is a sign its time to replace your old water heater with a new system.

Water Leaks Around the Tank

Continuous water leaks near the water tank are a sign the hot water heater needs to be replaced. These types of leaks may damage the surrounding flooring, walls, and appliances. For your own safety, it’s absolutely imperative to take care of these leaks as soon as you see them. The electricity must be disconnected and the water must be cooled before you install a new water heater.

Damaged Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve is designed to remove pressure in the hot water heater to prevent the formation of cracks on the water tank. If the pressure and temperature in the tank  become too high, the water heater can explode and cause damage to your property. Do you notice a water leak near your pressure relief valve? Ordinary causes of a leaking safety valve include a collection of minerals and rust in the water heater.

Once a large amount of minerals form in the water pipes, the valve will not be able to release pressure in the hot water tank. This will cause the temperature of the water to rise. If the temperature becomes too high, the water will transform into steam and cause the tank to explode. If you notice a water leak near the pressure relief valve, this is an indicator it's time to repair or replace your water heater.

Water Heater

Your Plumber Isn't Able to Fix the Heater

Ultimately, the most credible person to give you a definitive answer on whether or not you need to replace your water tank with a new water heater is a licensed plumber. That being said, most plumbers suggest flushing a water heater our regularly to clean and drain it of anything that could be impeding normal function. In this instance, “regularly” may mean something different depending on professional recommendation. The average response is to drain your water heater at least once every year. You may feel the need to increase this number as your family grows.

Water Heater Repair & Replacement Services

If you notice a deteriorated anode rod or water leaks, give our team of certified plumbers a call by phone at (630) 968-0783 to schedule an appointment. Stephens Plumbing offers water heater repair and installation services in Downers Grove, Illinois and other areas. From HVAC repair, water line installation, to sump pump repair, our team is able to accomidate your issues. Schedule a professional inspection so that a certified technician can help you formulate a plan for long-term maintenance that works for you.