In order for a water heater to survive for the duration of its lifespan, regular maintenance is needed. In most instances, the lifespan of a water heater is anywhere from eight to 12 years. One of the primary variables in this regard is the maintenance schedule. It all starts by taking the time to troubleshoot a variety of common issues. For example, if the water is not hot enough, this is probably a sign that the hot water has some maintenance that needs to be done.
Heating elements can become defective and thermostats will also need replacing from time to time. If these simple tasks are not completed, the hot water heater’s owner may face additional problems that could have been avoided. Sediment is another common problem that often goes neglected. By taking the time to drain the hot water heater twice a year, corrosion can be avoided, and efficiency increases.
An inefficient hot water heater will provide lukewarm showers and require replacement much earlier than expected. While the modern hot water heater is designed to function with a minimal amount of maintenance, that does not mean that the owner can avoid these issues entirely. By keeping a close eye on these problems, as well as the pressure relief valve and the temperature setting, the hot water heater will function much better over the short term and the long haul.
Why Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance
Unfortunately, many homeowners do not notice the warning signs until it is too late and they are forced to deal with undesirable conditions. In order to avoid these types of unwanted problems, it is important to recognize the warning signs that repair is needed. These are the most telltale symptoms:
Water Temperatures Begin to Fluctuate
If the water temperatures start to fluctuate in a way that is not enjoyable, this is a sure sign that the hot water heater needs to be repaired. Water temperatures should not be changing if the homeowner is not adjusting the dial in any way. Mineral deposits collect around the heating components, causing temperatures to fluctuate in a way that is not always comfortable.
Reduction in Water Pressure
The aforementioned mineral deposits will do more than cause fluctuations in the water temperature. When the pressure levels are reduced, this can cause major damage to the hot water heater over the course of time. Pipes will end being blocked and the only way to restore the hot water heater to its natural state is by contacting a plumber and shelling out for expensive repairs or even a full replacement.
Lack of Hot Water
If a lack of hot water has become a more prominent issue, this is typically a sign that the hot water heater in question is in need of repairs. Let’s say that the homeowner finds themselves subconsciously rationing their hot water supplies. Once the homeowner’s ability to take a hot shower is being impeded by other tasks, this means that they need to take a long, hard look at the hot water heater. These types of scenarios may be more common in apartment buildings but homeowners should not be experiencing them.
Once water begins to drip from the tank or pool around the bottom, this means that something has gone seriously wrong internally. The homeowner can start by checking the inlets, screws, connectors, and pipes to make sure that there is no fixable issue. Condensation is normal, so there is no need to panic there. However, any considerable leakage cannot and should not be ignored. In many cases, a leak of this nature means that the entire unit has to be replaced.
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Reduction in Water Flow
Scale and sediment build up inside of the hot water heater, which leads to a noticeable reduction in water flow. The plumbing that connects the hot water heater to the rest of the home can become damaged, which is why this issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Any homeowner who decides to ignore this obvious warning sign is placing themselves in an increased level of danger. The buildup that is causing the problem, to begin with, will only continue to worsen.
When it is Time to Replace Your Water Heater
If the hot water heater has not been replaced within the past 10 years, this is a sure sign that it is time to consider a replacement. The care and maintenance history plays a key role in how long the hot water heater will last but 12 years is typically the limit. Those who live in areas with hard water will want to make sure that they are adding softener and draining the tank at a more frequent rate. The experts suggest doing so every six months.
Once it comes time for a repair or a replacement, the importance of taking the time to contact a professional and compassionate HVAC company to get this job done quickly and efficiently cannot be understated. Fortunately, the professionals at PlumbSmart are here to help. They let the homeowner know when it is time to replace the hot water heater and address all of the most common signs.
In addition to the lifespan of the tank, there are other signs that will let a homeowner know when they need to make the change. Leaks are an obvious sign that has already been mentioned but they are the only symptom of a hot water heater that is ready for replacement. If knocking noises are becoming more common, this is another sure sign. The same goes for any homeowner who is experiencing cloudy or rusty water.