The life expectancy of a typical water heater is about eight to 12 years. This, however, depends on its design, installation quality and maintenance record. If it's not functioning like it used to after years of consistent use, it might be time to replace the entire unit. Local plumbing experts from Santana Bros Plumbing explain the signs you need to watch out for below.
Mineral sediment. Calcium, magnesium, and other naturally-occurring minerals form into scale particles, which then collect inside the water heater tank over time. Severe accumulation of sediment causes the hot water coming out of the faucet to discolor. Not only this, but these mineral deposits block the heater’s gas burner or electric elements. This reduces heating efficiency, ruining the equipment as a result. If draining and flushing the tank annually doesn’t solve the problem, the water heater needs to be replaced.
Rusty water heater tank. Consistent use of the water heater causes its anode rod to wear down, resulting in mineral deposits that eat away at the tank lining. Thus, corrosion starts to form at the bottom of the tank. If not addressed, water from inside the tank can start dripping out. Routine maintenance helps ensure the water heater’s performance, but if it's time to replace it, consider tankless water heaters. They don’t hold nearly as much water because they only heat water when needed.
Strange noises. A variety of noises coming from your water heater often indicate that something is wrong. Rumbling sounds occur as the temperature increases within the tank and water passes through severe sediment buildup. Crackling noises, meanwhile, are common in electric water heaters and are caused by the lower heating element becoming covered or buried by sediment. When this happens, it’s unable to heat or function properly.
At Santana Bros Plumbing, we upgrade traditional water heaters by installing tankless varieties for endless hot water and twice the lifespan. We also perform whole-house repipes, sewer repairs and drain unclogging. Give us a call at (713) 547-4597 or fill out our contact form to get a quote or request service.