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Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

Posted: January 21, 2019

Broken water heater

You probably take your water heater for granted – until a cold shower or a pool of water in your basement lets you know that it is taking some time off, perhaps for good.

Here are five indicators that your water heater could be on its last legs:

  1. Age – A conventional or storage water heater (one with a tank) will last about 10 years* on average – a number that can drop quickly if it is not properly maintained (a tankless water heater can last twice that long – one of several reasons it could be a great investment for your North Carolina home).
  2. Higher bills – If your bills are getting higher even though propane gas prices haven’t changed much, your water heater is probably overworking to do its job – and suffering from inefficiency as a result.
  3. Leaks or rusty water – A puddle of water under your tank – or rusty water coming from it – are signs that your water heater could be corroding from the inside out.
  4. Hard water – White stains on your utensils and glassware are common signs of hard (mineral-containing) water; so are dry, itchy skin and dull, scratchy clothing. Your water supply could be hard to begin with, or the problem could be the result of a long-term build up of lime in your tank; either way, those minerals will reduce efficiency and shorten the lifespan of your water heater.
  5. Unusual noises – Growling or gurgling noises coming from your storage tank are usually a sign of sediment build-up – a problem that eventually lead to costly water heater repairs or a premature replacement if it is not addressed.

As you can see, most of the water heater problems that we have outlined here have nothing to do with heating water – they come from storing it. That’s one of the reasons why tankless water heaters are such a smart solution: not only do they operate up to 30 percent more efficiently than storage heaters from a footprint the size of a small suitcase, they also eliminate complications from rust, leaks, and sediment build-up. And while they do cost more to install than conventional water heaters, you will save money on your bills and have a piece of home comfort equipment that will last almost as long as your mortgage.

Want to know more about tankless water heaters? We’ve got them on display at our new demo showroom! Look for details about our grand opening in coming blogs, or contact us to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on a water heater installation for your North Carolina home!

*If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, here’s a trick: look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s nameplate. The first letter in the serial number corresponds to its month of production; the first two numbers its year of production. For example, in the serial number E072738598, “E”, the fifth letter in the alphabet, corresponds to May, the fifth month. The number “07” represents the year. The water heater was produced in May 2007 – which means it will probably need to be replaced sooner than later.