Nobody wants to spend money on something they don’t really need. So when your water heater starts to age, you probably wait quite some time before considering a replacement. But, of course, no water heater will last forever.
Eventually, that older system is bound to break down—whether corrosion leads to leaking or the components start to put your safety at risk. If you think your water heater may be nearing the end of its life, contact a local technician. For more information, check out our list to see when a water heater replacement may be your best option.
The System Has Started to Corrode
Corrosion is one of the only sure signs your water heater is done for. Unfortunately, once your water heater has started to corrode, there is nothing a plumber can do to stop it. The tank can continue to corrode through, causing holes to form and flooding your home, which is something you never want to encounter.
If you notice rust flakes or discoloring when you turn on the hot water, call in a plumber ASAP. The good news is that there may be a smaller part at fault—the anode rod meant to prevent the tank from corroding since its materials are more corrosive than the tank lining. However, if there are signs that the tank is rusting, you’ll need a replacement.
Costs to Repair an Inefficient Water Heater Add Up
Water leaking from the tank is an indication of corrosion as well. However, if you notice leaking anywhere else—from the temperature and pressure valve, for example, or from a pipe inlet, replacing only that part may be relatively inexpensive. Often, repairing a water heater only costs up to a few hundred dollars.
However, there are times when a price quote to fix a water heater exceeds about half the value of a brand new water heater. And if this is the case, the repairs probably are not worth it. Purchasing a new system will save you more in the long term anyway.
Your Water Heater Is Over 10-15 Years Old
This is the lifespan of the average storage tank water heater, according to the Department of Energy. After about 10-15 years, it is approaching the end of its lifespan, and it’s time to consider other options. The risk of corrosion is high, and it’s possible that your water heater will leak right during your morning shower, meaning you have to call in a plumber ASAP and possibly miss the day’s events!
If you’ve been looking for a home upgrade, replacing an older water heater is a great way to do that, too. New water heaters can be significantly more efficient than those that are a decade or two old. And, you have a chance to consider upgrading to a tankless water heater or a heat pump water heater, both of which require less energy to operate than standard tank models.