IS YOUR WATER HEATER NEARING THE END OF IT'S DAY'S?

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02/14/2018
 

In the grand scheme of things, there are only a handful of commodities in your home which are not optional, but necessary.

No, I am not talking about your coffee machine or your new instant pot.

Hot water is one of the necessary things in our homes. We rely on them for every shower and dishwasher full of dishes. So unless we want to see a disruption in our daily hot water routine,  

Predicting water heater failure isn’t always easy, but the following occurrences are most common when a water heater is reaching the end of its useful life.

Age

Unfortunately, Water Heater's don't last as long as we'd like. After years of service, there are plenty of things that can begin to go awry with a hot water heater. Corrosion, wear-and-tear on parts, cracks in the tank, and more all can negatively affect your unit. For most tank heaters a lifespan is between 8-12 years.

Wow, four years swing? Why might that be? What can I do to make sure that mine lasts 12 years instead of 8?

A couple of reasons and ways: The biggest would be the brand your putting in. A top quality water heater is going to last and perform longer than it's lesser and cheaper priced rivals. But other things matter as well such as: Quality of installation, maintenance schedule, and water quality. In order to ensure your water heater lasts, make sure you get it inspected and that you install a top tier brand such as Bradford White.

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Knowing the age of your water heater is key to proactive replacement. But what if you can't remember when it was installed? Luckily, there is a way to find this out. The serial code # will tell us, however, it is a numerical code. If you take note of the serial number and give us a call or email and we'd be happy to assist you in knowing exactly how old your water heater is. 

Compromised Hot Water Supply

One of the first clues to knowing that your water heater is needing replacement is one that you can feel. Your hot water is no longer lasting like it used to, or maybe it is but the temperature just isn't what it used to be. 

This could be due to a failing heating element, which one of our licensed plumbers can diagnose and repair. Most of the time, a flush of your hot water heater will help your hot water last longer. But it could also point to something much worse. Mineral sediment can coat and harden on the bottom of your tank, including on the heating element.  This tends to occur near or around the 10-year mark and it should be interpreted as a serious indicator of imminent breakdown.

Old anode rod vs new

Rusty Water

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One of the best things to periodically check on your water heater is the sacrificial anode rod, making sure to replace it when necessary. The anode rod is a sacrificial rod that will attract corrosive elements that are suspended in your water. Essentially, the anode rod will gradually be eaten away in order to protect the glass lining. But if you don't replace the rod before it is used up, the corrosive agents will begin to attack that glass lining. 

So how do you know if your tank is beginning to corrode?

Corrosion may present itself in the form of rusty water coming from your taps. The best way to confirm that the problem is your water heater and not your pipe system is to flush your water heater, another routine service and maintenance task, and checking to see if the drained water is rust-coloured. If your water heater is rusted out, the time to replace it is now -- before it springs a leak.

Leaking Water

Over a long enough timeline, a leak is almost inevitable for a hot water heater. Some good ways to keep the leaks away are to have your unit regularly maintained and checked for leaks, taking action at the earliest signs of dripping or even moisture.

The Sound

If you notice a loud banging sound coming from your water heater, it's probably not a good sign of health. As sediment settles and hardens, it forces your water heater to work harder. This can lead to rapid expansion of the tank itself. If you notice consistent banging coming from your unit, it’s time to get a new one.

If you notice any of these symptoms affecting your water heater, or would like to have your water heater checked by one of our maintenance professionals, give us a call at 306-374-0922.