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Plumber repairing an hot-water heater

There’s nothing better than stepping into a piping hot shower and letting the water wash your cares away. As long as your water heater is working properly, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, as your water heater starts to age, your daily shower can become a chilly experience.

Believe it or not, the average water heater lasts for just 10 years with regular care and maintenance. So, how can you tell if it’s time to schedule a water heater replacement or if you can get by with a simple repair?

It’s easier than you think. Watch for these telltale signs that your home needs a new water heater.

Your Energy Bills Keep Going Up

Your water heater starts to become more inefficient the older and more damaged it becomes. This means it will take longer to heat up the water you need when you need it. Worse, it will cause your energy bills to steadily go up each month.

The longer it takes your water heater to heat your water supply to your preferred temperature, the more energy it consumes. The more energy it uses, the more you’ll pay on your utility bills.

If you’re noticing that your energy bills are higher than they used to be without reason, it’s time to get your water heater replaced. Once you do, you’ll see an immediate decrease in your home’s energy use month after month.

It’s Not Getting the Water Hot Enough

Just as damaged and old water heaters have to work harder to heat water in the first place, they also struggle to get the water hot enough. If you constantly find yourself shivering in the shower or cranking the hot tap as high as it will go, schedule an inspection.

Though it’s possible that your water heater’s thermostat might need repair, it’s more likely that your water heater needs replacing. Your plumbing technician will be able to identify the exact cause of the problem so you can enjoy your showers in comfort.

Repairs Happen Frequently

It’s normal for all water heaters to need regular tune-ups and the occasional repair appointment. However, those repairs should be few and far between.

If you find yourself scheduling repairs at least once every few months, it may be best to replace the unit entirely.

Repairs can extend the life of your water heater, but if you’re experiencing frequent problems, the repairs will just get more expensive. Over time, you may end up spending more on repairs than you would on a new water heater.

If you’re not sure what the best option is, don’t hesitate to ask your plumbing contractor. They’ll help you figure out what’s best for your budget and can give you an idea of how much future repairs might cost in the long run.

There’s Visible Corrosion on the Exterior

Water heaters are durable, but they’re not indestructible. As they age, the metal components can start to break down. This leads to visible rust and corrosion on the exterior.

Though it’s not always cause for immediate concern, that corrosion increases your risk of leaks and water damage around the water heater.

If you notice rust building up on or around your water heater, it’s best to schedule a full replacement. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to repair corrosion or keep it from getting worse once it starts happening.

The Unit Makes Strange Noises

Every water heater, no matter how new or old it is, makes some amount of noise when it turns on. Those noises should be consistent and recognizable when you hear them.

If you’ve noticed that the noises keep changing or are getting louder with each passing day, don’t wait. Schedule an inspection and find out what’s going on with your water heater.

There may be a loose valve contributing to the increase in noise, but it may also be a sign that you’re in need of a new water heater.

The Water Smells Off

Corrosion doesn’t just happen on the exterior of your water heater. It can also happen inside the unit.

Over time, the minerals in your home’s water supply start to build up inside the system. This can cause sediment to collect in the water heater and contributes to the buildup of rust and corrosion inside the tank.

Though you can’t see inside the tank, you should be able to smell the change in water quality. Pay attention to the way your bathroom smells when you take a shower. If the water and steam smell metallic or just unusual, it could be a sign that you need to start thinking about a water heater replacement.

Once you install the new unit, you’ll notice that the strange smell will be gone.

There Are Frequent Leaks

Even a small leak in your water heater can do serious damage. The buildup of moisture can encourage mold and mildew growth while also causing damage to the structure of your house.

If you’re noticing frequent leaks or see water seeping out from beneath the water heater, it’s time to replace the unit altogether. Fixing leaks is possible, but the repairs are often just temporary.

Replacing your water heater will eliminate the leaks and allow you to keep your home in good condition for years to come.

Schedule a Water Heater Replacement Now

Now that you know when to replace a water heater, you’re ready to assess the condition of your home’s unit. If the system is in good shape, you’ll be able to keep it that way as long as you take care of regular maintenance.

However, if you’ve noticed any of these signs, don’t wait. Contact us and schedule an inspection and find out if it’s time to schedule a water heater replacement.

We’re proud to help homeowners in the greater Hudson, Seven Hills, and Independence areas keep their water heaters running well year-round.

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