Your water heater is one of the most reliable and longest-lasting appliances you have in your home.
Even then, it certainly won’t last forever! So when is the right time to replace your water heater?
As with any other appliance in your home, regular maintenance will help it to work more efficiently and have a longer lifespan.
If you do take good care of your water heater, you can expect it to last 8–10 years.
If you find that your water heater is not heating properly, then a repair may be a better solution than purchasing a new unit. However, there will come a time when you will need to buy a new water heater.
Time to Repair
Drips and Leaks
Your water heater may experience leaks in two places: the pressure-relief valve or the pipes. If it’s the former, then replace the valve. If the pipes are leaking, then first tighten the connections. If that doesn’t eradicate the problem, then replace the fittings. However, remember to turn off the water first!
Water Temperature Is Too Low
A common complaint about water heaters is that the water isn’t heating to the temperature you’d prefer. In this case, you’ll want to troubleshoot some common problems to see if the issue can be remedied.
Whether you have a gas or electric water heater, ensure that the unit is receiving power. Is the breaker tripped? Is the pilot light on? Then flush the water to remove any sediment and then insulate the pipes.
You may need to replace the thermostat, or the gas valve on a gas water heater. Then increase the temperature on the thermostat to see if that solves the problem.
Time to Replace
Age of Unit
If your water heater is older than a decade, it may be simpler to buy new than to repair your existing unit. If you moved into your home less than 10 years ago, then you likely don’t know the age of your water heater. Most of the time you can find the age by looking at the serial number.
The serial number will have a letter followed by about 10 numbers. The letter stands for the month. You’ll have to do some math and count where that letter lands in the alphabet.
For example, H is the eighth number in the alphabet, so that means it represents the eighth month: August. The next two numbers represent the year, so 13 would be 2013.
If you’re unsure of how to check for the year, give Forrest Anderson a call! Tell them the make, model, and serial number of your unit and they will help you date your water heater.