Your water heater is an unsung hero in your home, helping supply hot water for your shower, bath, dishwasher and clothes washer. But like any machine, after years of effort a water heater can eventually wear down.
Watch for these signs to know if it’s time to upgrade.
Age – The average lifespan for a conventional water heater (one that has a tank) is about 10 years. Consider replacing your tank if it’s older than that. Tankless water heaters last substantially longer – often 15 years or more.
One easy way to tell the age of your water heater to look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker. The first letter in the serial number corresponds to its month of production; the first two numbers its year of production. For example, in the serial number F082738598, “F”, the sixth letter in the alphabet, corresponds to June, the sixth month. The number “08” represents the year. The water heater was produced in June 2008.
Rusty Water – If you find rusty water in the tank, it’s a good indication that your water heater is corroding from the inside; that could lead to a costly tank failure in the near future.
A leak – A leak usually indicates that your tank’s structure has been affected. If you spot a leak, turn off the tank’s water supply and get your water heater inspected ASAP.
Rumbling sounds – If you hear rumbling noises, it’s usually a sign of sediment buildup in your tank. Sediment reduces efficiency, which raises your monthly bills.
Hard Water –Highly mineralized water can cause lime build up, which can reduce efficiency and shorten the lifespan of your water heater.