Does Your Water Heater Need to Be Replaced?

Posted by Butter Plumbing

Water_Heaters_dreamstime_xl_11740158Most homes in Paradise, NV have a traditional tank water heater in place to provide hot water for cooking and cleaning. They do their jobs very quietly and are often tucked away in little-used parts of the home like the basement or garage. Unfortunately, that means that problems can creep in unnoticed, and if your water heater is more than 10 or 15 years old, those problems can quickly lead to a fundamental breakdown if you aren’t careful. When that happens, you need to get your water heater replaced right away.

Prevention First

ThereĀ are a number of ways to prevent your water heater from needing to be replaced too soon, which boil down to a little preventative maintenance. A qualified plumber should check your system once a year: tightening loose bolts or fittings, cleaning burners, flushing out the tank itself and replacing the anode rod (which prevents rust from forming in the tank) if necessary. That will extend the life of your water heater, as well as letting the plumber check for signs of more serious trouble coming down the road. That gives you a chance to plan for repairs properly, before the damage becomes catastrophic. This is especially important with water heaters, since overt signs of trouble usually mean you have to replace the unit instead of just repairing it.

Look for Subtle Signs

Regardless of how well you maintain your water heater, however, sooner or later, it needs to be replaced. Generally speaking, any signs that the system isn’t working as normal should be grounds for summoning a plumber. More specifically, you should look for the following:

  • Rust-colored water or black water coming out of your outlets. When the sides of the tank begin to rust, the water will take on an unhealthy color.
  • A lack of hot water. It may still be warm in some cases, but not as warm as you have come to expect or need. In other cases, there will be no hot water at all.
  • Hot water running out more quickly than you’d expect.
  • Strange noises coming from the water heater, such as gurgling or dripping noises.
  • Puddles forming around the base of the heater. Breaches in the tank can sometimes re-close when the water cools down. The puddles will remain, however.
  • Unexpected spikes in your water or energy bills, especially if you haven’t used the the water in your home any more often than normal.

What to Do About It

You should never attempt to repair or replace a faulty water heater yourself. Doing so often causes more damage than it fixes and can leave you with a far costlier bill in the bargain. Instead, turn off the heat source and shut off the water to the water heater and summon a trained plumber. He or she can assess the state of the system and help you determine whether you want to repair the system or whether a full-bore replacement is in order.

Call the professionals at Butter Plumbing for all of your water heater needs.

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