Indoor plumbing has been a convenience enjoyed since about 2500 BC. It was not until 1899 that the water heater was invented, making the convenience much better. Today, nearly 20% of the heating costs in homes across the United States goes for heating our water, according to plumbing services experts.
- While no one likes the idea of having to repair or replace the appliances in their home, at some point it has to be done. Many appliances announce when they are in trouble. Water heaters, on the other hand, may keep this information to themselves. There are ways to tell if your unit needs replacement.
- Do you know when your water heater installation was done? If you are like most American homeowners, you do not. That is ok but you should know that the lifespan of these great appliances runs from about 10 years to nearly 15. If you do not know when yours was put in but you have owned your home for about a decade, it is probably time to get a new one.
- Think of the demands you place on your water heater. This can greatly impact the lifespan of your appliance. An individual, living in a home by themselves does not use as much water as a family with four people. When you are thinking about the unit’s age, it is important to factor in how much you use it. If you are not sure how much this impacts what you have, plumbing experts in your area can help.
- Look at the color that comes out of your taps. When you go to get hot or warm water from your tap, what do you see? It should be clear. Water from water heaters that have started to go can look rusty. If you have rusty colored water, it is time for a replacement. You may also see this in the clothes you wash with hot or warm water. If your whites are no longer coming out of the washer, you have a problem.
- How hot is the water? There are a number of reasons the water coming through your pipes is not warm at all or not as warm as you like. You should check the temperature setting and look at the pilot light. If those are both set correctly and working, your unit needs to be replaced.
- When you turn the water on, there should be nothing else in it. The problem comes when sediment builds up in the tank. As the level of sediment rises up, some of it will come out through the water you see when you turn on your taps. If you see sand or mud, you need to take action. You can first get the sediment out but if that does not work, you need to buy a new one.
- How does the water taste and smell? Water from a hot water heater that is working should be clean tasting and smell of, well, nothing. One thing you may start to notice is that your water tastes and smells metallic. As the inside of the appliance starts to break down, particles from its lining fall off into your water tank. This is what you are tasting and you should go shopping for a new appliance.
- Does your water heater talk to you? Some units make some noise (not much) but if you start hearing popping noises or strange cracking sounds, you may have a problem. Typically, this may be a sign that the heating unit and the corresponding elements have some kind of build-up such as minerals from your water. This may also mean you need to go shopping.
- Your repair bills for the unit are adding up. If your water heater worked well and now you keep having to call a repair person to check it out, that can mean it is time to say goodbye to it.
It is hard to imagine life without indoor plumbing or water heaters. The issue is that all parts that keep both working well, will need to be replaced at some time. Your main goal should be to replace appliances, pipes, and parts before they damage your home. These tips can really help.