Do I Need a New Hot Water Heater for My Home?

man helps child wash hands at sinkYou may not think about it very often, but you and your family rely on hot water more than you might think. There are many times during the course of the day when homeowners use hot water, such as for laundry, hygiene, dishes, and meal preparation. When the hot water is flowing freely, it’s easy to take for granted how often you might use it. But if there’s a problem with your heater, you’ll likely quickly realize just how much you use hot water in your home.

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According to the Department of Energy, your hot water heater takes up about 20 percent of your home’s energy use. It can be even more if your tank is older and is not working at maximum efficiency. While there are many factors that can determine how long your water heater will last (such as water hardness and amount of hot water used daily), on average you can expect your water heater to last 10 to 15 years. If yours is at that age or beyond, it may be time to consider a replacement.

5 Signs Your Water Heater Needs Replacing

While nobody wants to think of having to replace their hot water heater, there are signs it may give you that it’s time. Here are five things to look for if you think it could be on its way out:

  1. Water is leaking from the tank. If you see water dripping from the tank, water under or around the unit, or notice pipes dripping, then you definitely should call for repairs. It may be as simple as valves or connections that need tightening. If the problem is with the tank itself, it will likely need to be replaced.
  2. Hot water seems to run out quickly. If this is happening, it is probably because your tank isn’t holding the maximum capacity of water. This usually happens in homes with harder water because sediment collects in the tank and builds up. If you have a lot of sediment in your water, you should flush your tank regularly.
  3. The water temperature is inconsistent. If you notice a fluctuation in temperature each morning when you shower or do dishes, there is likely a problem with your hot water heater. It could be as simple as a thermostat issue, but if there are problems with the heating elements in the hot water heater, it is likely you will need to replace it.
  4. Water is discolored and doesn’t taste good. If your water appears to be rusty, it’s probably because your tank is rusty, too. This is especially true if water tank maintenance, like flushing the system regularly, has been neglected. Once the tank starts to corrode, it’s only a matter of time before it needs replacing.
  5. Your water heater is making strange sounds. If you notice unusual noises coming from your hot water heater, it could be a sign that there is trouble brewing with your water heater. Strange noises usually accompany other signs of breakdown, such as poor water flow or fluctuations in water pressure. You will likely want a professional to give your water heater a checkup.

When you work with a professional water heater contractor, they’ll check out your water heater and see if repairs are possible or feasible. If you need to replace it, they’ll help you choose the best type of water heater for your home, and will make sure it is the appropriate size for your home and household hot water needs.

How can I replace the old hot water heater in my home?

If you think it’s time to replace the old water heater in your home, all you need to do is give Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. a call. We are ready to help meet the hot water needs of your household and help you choose the best type and size for your home. You may contact us via phone at (860) 684-9485. We look forward to helping you with your water heater needs.