How to Know It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

Today, I’m going to explain how to know when you need to replace your water heater and when you can just repair it.

First, there are some obvious signs that it’s time to replace it.

Sign #1: It’s leaking and flooding your house. Maybe it’s rusted out and just a piece of junk. That’s a very good reason to replace your hot water heater.

Sign #2: It’s old. You want to keep an eye on how old the hot water heater is. Any hot water heater should last at least 10 years. I’ve seen them last up to 30 years.

Sign #3: It’s gurgling and banging. When it’s heating up, if it starts gurgling and banging and making a bunch of noise, that means there’s a lot of calcium deposits inside. This is a sign that it’s probably on its last legs.

Sign #4: If a hot water heater simply gives out and you’re not getting any hot water out of it, that’s when you really want to pay attention to how old your hot water heater is. It could be that the gas valve burner assembly is bad. It might also just be a problem with the thermocouple, which is what keeps the pilot light lit.

If your water heater is annoying you with any of these problems, it’s probably time to get an estimate to replace it.

Is It Really Time to Repair or Replace Your Hot Water Heater?

If you’ve got a hot water heater that’s over 10 years old and the gas valve is bad, you probably don’t want to spend $400 or $500 to repair it and then maybe in a couple more years, you’ll have to replace it anyway.

As long as you’ve got hot water, there are different philosophies on the right actions to take if a water heater needs repairs. My own personal philosophy is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Once your water heater’s warranty expires, however, start to keep an eye on it.

If you want to prevent problems like those above, get one of our professional plumbers to come out and assess its condition.

How Often Should You Flush the Hot Water Heater?

Many people have asked me how often they should flush out their hot water heaters.

If you have a tankless hot water heater, it’s very important that you do this at least once a year. If you don’t do it and then you have a problem with the tankless water heater, you will have voided the warranty. When you don’t flush it annually, calcium deposits build up and it could stop working correctly.

For a regular tank hot water heater, flushing it out once a year is plenty. Take a hose to it, turn  on the valve on the bottom of the hot water heater and let it run for a while. Then turn the valve off and let it drain. Turn the hose back on again, and that will get out some of the deposits that build up in the bottom of the hot water heater.

I hope I have answered your questions about hot water heaters. If your water heater needs service or replacement, call us. I’ll have service techs on your site fast and get your household up and running again. Call us at 505-375-6602.