Most people don’t think about their water heater until it stops working.
For most households, the water heater is a foundational element of a comfortable home, and it only needs a little TLC to keep it happy.
For a lot of homeowners, replacing an old water heater is one of the best steps they can take, because they either see the gains in water warmth, water bill savings or insurance premiums.
Repair Or Replace?
When considering whether to repair or replace, ask yourself: what is your current one doing for you?
Many water heaters are doing just fine, although their capacity is too big for your household and they are costing you more in water heating bills than you need to pay.
But even if your water heater is a good investment for the size of the household, there will be times you might want to look at replacing it; here are some examples.
1. Your Water Heater Can’t Keep Up Anymore
A lot of people bought their houses when they were newlyweds, and forgot – 2.5 kids later – that all those extra bodies require warm water.
When your water heater has been installed to handle 2 people, but you have 6 living in your home, you might find that your water heater can’t heat the water fast enough to satisfy everyone.
Your best bet, unless you’re willing to discuss shower schedules, is to replace your water heater with a larger tank, so it can accommodate more hot showers than it’s currently delivering.
2. Your Hot Water Is Discolored
As we’ve just discovered above, when the water heater is being used to capacity, it can run out of hot water.
When it gets low on that water, it will sometimes present as brownish – rust coloured – out of the taps; this is because the last of the water will sit in the rusty or sediment-filled tank and get discoloured.
A problem with rusty water tanks is that they can drop out their bottom and cause a flood – when the tank empties, the metal tank is exposed to air and corrodes.
This is the reason why most plumbers will recommend changing out your water tank by the 15-year mark so that it never has a chance to rust away and dump 50 gallons of hot water into your basement.
3. You Find A Puddle Around Your Water Heater
If you have a puddle near your water heater, it’s probably time to call a plumber – neither pipes nor water heaters are designed to drip water, so puddles mean they are not functioning optimally.
Water heaters, pipes and taps should have proper seals that contain the water, because water can do a huge amount of damage in a home.
Puddles near the water heater mean you probably have either a bad connection or a crack, which would definitely need immediate attention.
4. Your Water Heater Just Won’t Keep Quiet
When your water heater has a lot to say, you should probably listen.
The most common issue that you can hear in your water heater is sediment buildup in the bottom.
The sediment might look like sand, but it’s almost always calcium deposits that have fallen off the side of the tank and settled to the bottom.
It can sound like popping, when the heat bubbles through and turns the sediment to steam, and when you hear this, we recommend you drain the sediment out of your tank, as it can cause the element to overheat.
5. Your Water Heater Is Just Plain Old
Here’s a tip that can save you money: when you replace your water heater, your insurance company may reward you with savings – this is because they recognize that old tanks are water damage risks that can be easily avoided with a new upgrade.
In fact, they might go so far as to charge you a premium for your old tank, because they are more likely to rust, corrode and leak all over your home and property, necessitating a huge cleanup and payout.
Old water heaters are not economic, efficient, and can be unsafe – do your heating bill a favour and replace your water tank before it forces you to.
Contact Triton Plumbing & Service
At Triton Plumbing & Service, we value our relationship with you over a one-time install, so you can rely on us to give you advice that is right for you.
Water heaters require some experience and attention, and a neglected water heater can be a liability issue.
Call us now to book an annual maintenance visit, and we will be happy to walk through with you and discuss your options and opportunities.