Even with regular care, tank water heaters tend to require replacement at 12-15 years of age. Look for the date of manufacture on the tank. It will usually be on a sticker with other information about the tank. If you cannot find a date, normally with the manufacturer’s name and a serial number, Salmon Plumbing can help you determine the tank’s age.
Water heater life is highly dependent on usage. Every time the tank heats up, there is expansion and contraction that will eventually cause the tank to fail. A family of five can expect to replace their water heater sooner than a single person household.
Water quality, care, unit design and even the location in your home can impact the life of the unit.
There are many indicators that signal it is time for a replacement.
- Your hot water temperature is erratic. Hot water runs out quicker than normal.
- Signs of leaking around the base of the tank, indicative of internal cracking or corrosion.
- Banging, rumbling sounds. Calcium build up forms on the bottom of the tank over time, creating a hard crust that creates noise during use.
- Coloured hot water, emerging from any faucet. If this occurs only when you run hot water, it confirms the rust is inside the tank. Once corrosion begins inside the tank there is no stopping it.
- Your water is not as hot as it used to be. Sediment buildup reducing the effectiveness of heating coils or burners.
- Actual age of the unit. If the unit is over 12 years old, it is time to consider replacing it. You want to do this before you have a catastrophic fail.
- Unable to drain water from the tank via the drain valve. Sediment builds up over time inside the tank. If you are unable to drain the tank it indicates that the sediment has built up enough to plug the drain.
Since the corrosion starts from the inside, out of sight, a complete failure can occur without warning. If the unit is in a finished basement this can lead to substantial property damage. Installing a catchment tray under the tank can provide a warning of imminent leaks and may help to minimize the damage. Catchment trays are of limited value if they cannot be plumbed directly to a floor drain.
Replacing your water heater provides several benefits.
You can choose to increase or decrease your tank capacity depending on the changing needs of your family. A new tank will usually run more efficiently. If you need unlimited hot water without delays, you may want to even consider a tankless water heater.
If your water heater is rented, you may want to think about buying. Owning your own water heater will save you money over time versus renting the unit. Salmon Plumbing will install your new gas or electric water heater and dispose of your old unit. We have the experts to select the correct sized tank to meet your family’s needs.