One of the most critical appliances in your home is the water heater. And, of all the modern conveniences that go toward keeping homes running smoothly, problems with water heaters can crop up when you least expect. This is a situation most homeowners will face sooner or later, especially for those intending to remain in the home for five to 10 years.
With the potential for leaving showers ice cold and undetected leaks running amok in the house, homeowners that are considering water heater replacement have a number of factors to evaluate prior to committing to replacing an aging or broken water heater. So, just how long do water heaters last anyway?
In Florida, much like everywhere else in the country, a properly functioning water heater is essential to making life a comfortable experience. A water heater can feature a storage tank to keep heated water available for use at any time, or they can be tankless and heat water only when you need a ready source of heat. With different capacities and modes of heating, today’s water heaters are as varied as the people that use them.
Lifetime of Water Heaters
How long water heaters last will depend on several factors such as the manufacturer, the type of usage the appliance will endure, and the environmental conditions. Most water heaters are rated to last six to 12 years, with some going far longer, especially with regular maintenance.
The recommended maximum lifetime of a water heater is eight to 12 years and going past this amount of time increases the possibility of leaks, as well as the opportunity to purchase a more efficient model. But, how do you really know how long your water heater will last?
Check your Water Heater’s Manual
Checking your water heater’s manual for its manufacture date can be one of the easiest ways to tell if you’re due for a water heater replacement. Was your water heater manufactured within the last five years? If so, the appliance that allows you to control water temperature in your home may still have a few years of service left.
Did you purchase a home with a water heater already installed? Is the manual in a box you may never wind up finding, even if you successfully clean out your attic or garage? Check the cassis of the water heater and look for a manufacture date. If all else fails, you can look at the serial number or even find a phone number for the maker. Whatever you do, hold off on replacing your water heater until you’ve taken the time to evaluate your situation carefully.
3 Signs Your Water Heater is Due for Replacement
There are always signs that your home’s appliances are due for maintenance or even outright replacement, and your home’s water heater is no different. While factors such as method of heating (gas or electric) and whether you have a traditional tank or tankless water heater can make a difference, there are several considerations to check prior to servicing your unit.
1. Water Temperature
The number one reason why homeowners decide to replace their water heater is the temperature of the water coming out of the tap.
- Does your shower not feel as hot as it once was?
- Are you constantly trying to find that right mix of settings in the bath?
- Do you feel like you’re waiting longer than usual when standing at the sink?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, it may be time to closely examine your water heater. Check all connections to and from the water heater and be sure to look at insulated pipes and temperature settings. If your once insulated pipe is now a bare conduit for your precious hot water, you may be losing out on temperature before it ever reaches you where you need it. Those with gas-heated units should check to see if the pilot light is still lit. Remember to read all safety notices even when just examining your water heater. Do not strike a match when there’s a very strong smell of gas.
2. Strange Noises
Another major reason why you may want to consider replacing your water heater is whether your unit is making noise during normal operation. A water heater will collect naturally occurring sediment over time and this sediment can be a major contributor to a breakdown.
A hissing or sizzling noise can mean that sediment has built up within the unit. Test the pressure relief valve – if this is the source of the leak you may only need to replace the valve and not the entire unit.
3. Pooling Water or Leaks
If you’ve discovered standing or dripping water near your water heater, then the situation likely requires action on the part of the homeowner. A leaking unit is a sign that a serious problem has arisen, and quick steps must be taken to remedy the situation.
Water sitting under the water heater or along piping can suggest a corrosion has taken place either due to sediment or because of the unit’s age.
Is the water heater itself leaking water? Can you trace the origin of the leak? Doing so may help you determine the cause of the problem.
Water Heater Replacement Costs
As with any home appliance, fixing some components will cost more than others. Here are some of the costs to replace parts of the water heater if you don’t opt for a full unit replacement:
- $175–$485 to replace a broken ignitor. The ignitor creates the initial spark that ignites the fuel (oil, gas, or propane). When ignited, the fuel burns up to generate heat, so if your ignitor is bad, you won’t have heat.
- $230–$650 to replace the expansion tank. If your water heater is overheating or leaking, your expansion tank most likely has too much water and needs to be replaced.
- $435–$1,800 to replace the circulator pump. The circulator pump pushes hot water through radiators and pipes to warm your home. If your circulator isn’t working, your system won’t heat your home.
Deciding to Replace your Water Heater
Excessive sediment and pressure will eventually be the downfall of your water heater, and it’s only a matter of time before wear and tear will claim yours as well. After a careful examination, you may notice cracks in the unit, broken components, faulty insulation, or any combination of these problems. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it may be time for a professional Tampa plumbing company like Easy A/C to provide a water heater replacement.
Fortunately, today’s water heaters are available to suit any style of usage, all while performing more efficiently. When the time comes to replace your water heater, always check reviews and warranty information for every manufacturer. Planning for the future when problems are least expected will keep your home running smoothly for years to come.
Whatever issues you’re currently dealing with, don’t wait! Give one of our customer representatives a call today. With prompt and effective assistance, you can get back to your normal routines – including hot water – and keep everyone in the household happy.
Contact us today by simply filling out the online form or give us a call at 813-COLD-AIR.